SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Nations
Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), the largest regional Indian gaming
association in the country, has unanimously voted to support four Southern
California tribes' and oppose any efforts to overturn the compacts they
negotiated with the State of California.
The action came at a full meeting of the association, 35 with gaming
and 30 non-gaming tribes, following efforts to overturn the compacts
through four referenda petitions proposed for the February ballot. The
campaign to overturn the compacts is sponsored by a labor union, a Bay Area
land developer that owns two race tracks and one Southern California and
one Northern California tribe.
The compacts were signed with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla
Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Pechanga Band of Luiseno
Indians and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.
"The efforts by outside third parties who have their own financial or
political agendas is a direct challenge to the future of the Indian gaming
industry and all California tribes, whether they have gaming operations or
not," said Anthony Miranda, chair of the organization.
"CNIGA views these efforts as a direct assault on the sovereign right
of all tribal governments throughout the country to negotiate gaming
compacts on a government-to-government basis."
All four compacts were successfully negotiated with Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger and ratified by both houses of the Legislature this summer.
Miranda said that while it is CNIGA policy not to get involved in
individual compacts or negotiations, the organization took a position on
this matter because the compacts were already approved and overturning them
would hurt all tribes, particularly poorer tribes.
The compact amendments call for the tribes to pay $9 million annually
into the state's Revenue Sharing Trust Fund which provides money to
non-gaming tribes. The $9 million is more than double what the four tribes
currently pay into the fund.
"I personally urge Californians who are approached to sign petitions
seeking to overturn these compacts to reject those efforts and support the
tribes' increased payments to the state for vitally needed services,"
Miranda said. "If these compacts are overturned it will remove hundreds of
millions of dollars from the 2007-2008 budget awaiting state Senate
Representing 65 federally recognized member tribes, CNIGA is the oldest
and largest tribal organization in California. CNIGA is dedicated to
protecting the sovereign right of Indian tribes to have gaming on their
land. It acts as a planning and coordinating agency for legislative,
policy, legal and communications efforts on behalf of its members and
serves as an industry forum for information and resources.
SOURCE The California Nations Indian Gaming Association