Supporters of a California referendum that would let the voters decide whether the state’s first off-reservation Indian casino can happen in the Central Valley say they have enough signatures to qualify the measure for the 2014 ballot.
About 504,000 signatures are needed to qualify the measure, but proponents had turned in more than 800,000 to the Secretary of State’s office before the September 30 deadline.
Governor Jerry Brown, who signed the compact with the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, which would allow them to build the North Fork Rancheria Resort Hotel & Casino in Madera County, criticized the referendum effort. “It’s unfortunate that tens of millions of dollars will now go to fight over this,” said the governor during a speech at the Capitol in Sacramento before tribal leaders. “I think this is a dispute about money, mostly—money and competition.”