California and Six of Its Tribes Sign New Gaming Compacts

Last Tuesday, August 24, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, announced that he had signed new tribal-state gaming compacts with six of the local tribes. According to Newsom himself, the compacts display the concerned bodies’ commitment to create and maintain resilient and amicable relations, push for developments in the tribal economy and self-sufficiency, and establish a strong tribal government. 

The Benefits of the Compacts

The tribes in question include the Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria, the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians, the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, the Resighini Rancheria, the Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians, and the Table Mountain Rancheria.

The compacts will work in accordance with all involved parties’ terms and towards “improving the quality of life of tribal members through a framework that generates revenue for governmental programs.” The compact mentions that gaming activities will continue to be fairly regulated, patrons and employees will receive protections and will work in accordance with the state of California’s safety standards. Their pay will be justly compensated, and their public health and safety will be assured.

Lastly, an environmental review process to address potential off-reservation impacts of a tribal gaming facility will be provided.

The compacts will take into account any potential disasters. They will support tribal investments in the improvement of the availability and quality of tribal government services, in law enforcement, and in support of local jurisdictions and non-profit and civic organizations for improved firefighting and medical aid services. Additional investments that will be fostered are those in the humanitarian sector, including public transit, education, public services, infrastructure improvements, and environmental protection. 

Propelling the Tribal Communities Forward

The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians is expected to greatly benefit from the compact. The tribe announced in a statement that it plans to use the momentum to expand its Coarsegold casino’s operations. The latter will now be allowed to operate 3,500 gaming devices – twice as much as it has been permitted until now. 

“After years of tough negotiations, we reached an agreement that will ensure Chukchansi Gold remains the premier gaming resort in the region,” tribal chairwoman Claudia Gonzales said. 

She mentioned that fighting to protect the tribe’s sovereignty had been tough work.

The tribes that signed the compacts vowed to take care and share a part of the revenues with other local tribes that don’t operate gaming businesses at all or do so in limitation. This will be done through the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund and the Tribal Nation Grant Fund in order to ensure that all of the local tribal population can reap the benefits. 

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