How California’s State Budget and Economy Benefit from the New Indian Gaming Agreements

Published: November 7, 2007

<div class="serendipity_imageComment_right" style="width: 110px"><div class="serendipity_imageComment_img"><a class='serendipity_image_link' href='http://www.srcar.org/documents/IndMemberForm.pdf'><!– s9ymdb:48 –><img width="110" height="110" src="http://blog.srcar.org/uploads/pdf-logo.thumb.jpg" alt="" /></a></div><div class="serendipity_imageComment_txt">Download the Individual Member Form</div></div>California continues to face chronic budget deficits, and the state struggles to adequately fund our schools, public safety, traffic congestion relief, healthcare and other services. That’s why Gov. Schwarzenegger negotiated and bi-partisan members of the legislature recently approved new Indian gaming agreements that <strong>will provide our state more than $9 billion in new revenue over the next two decades – without raising taxes.</strong> Under these new agreements, four tribes that have casino facilities on remote reservation lands in Riverside and San Diego counties will pay a much higher percentage of their net gaming revenues to the state, in exchange for being allowed a limited expansion of slot machines on their existing tribal lands.<br /><br />
<h3>Agreements give our state hundreds of millions of dollars each year – without raising taxes.</h3><br />
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Under the agreements, the Agua Caliente, Morongo, Pechanga and Sycuan tribes will pay much higher percentages of their net gaming revenues (up to 25%) into the state General Fund.<br />
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These agreements will provide the state with more than $200 million the first year (with revenues increasing significantly in future years) and an estimated $9 billion over the next two decades to help balance the budget and pay for schools, roads and bridges, public safety and health care – without raising taxes or increasing debt. That will help balance the state budget and provide vitally needed new funding for schools, public safety, roads and bridges, health care, and other programs and services throughout California.<br />
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<h3>The new agreements will protect and create thousands of California jobs by keeping the tribes' casinos competitive.</h3><br />
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The agreements benefit the tribes by allowing them to have additional slot machines at casinos on their existing tribal lands. This will create thousands of new jobs at their gaming facilities. In addition, under the new agreements, the four tribes will share tens of millions of dollars from their revenues with non-gaming tribes.<br />
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The new agreements also require the tribes to coordinate with local police and fire agencies, to compensate local governments for any local services that are needed, and to resolve disputes with surrounding communities through binding arbitration.<br />
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<div style="border:#999 dashed thin; background-color:#eee;"><strong>"These compacts will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars per year to the state in funds for education, health care and public safety."<br />
– Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger</strong></div><br />
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<h3>The agreements strengthen protections for casino employees and the environment.</h3><br />
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The new agreements preserve the right of Indian casino employees to be represented by unions chosen through secret ballots. They also ensure that the tribes will comply with environmental review provisions that mirror the California Environmental Quality Act.<br />
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<h3>Special interests are bankrolling an effort to repeal these fair agreements.</h3><br />
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Predictably, certain special interests don’t like the new gaming agreements. The new agreements are opposed by a big Las Vegas casino owner and two wealthy gaming tribes that are allowed to have unlimited slot machines and don’t want competition. These special interests are spending millions on a referendum effort to place the four new agreements on the February 2008 ballot and try to convince voters to repeal them. If they get their way, the agreements will be canceled – and our state will lose billions of dollars in vitally needed revenues for public safety and other services.<br />
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<h3>How you can help…</h3><br />
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The Coalition to Protect California's Budget &amp; Economy has been formed to support the new Indian gaming agreements. You can help by joining the coalition. Explore their website at <a href="http://www.YESforCalifornia.com" title="Yes for California Website" target="_blank">www.YESforCalifornia.com</a>.


Last modified: November 7, 2007 at 9:13 am | Originally published: November 7, 2007 at 9:13 am
Printed: September 25, 2020