CNIGA Votes Unanimously to Oppose Efforts to Overturn Compacts

Aug 21, 2007, 01:00 ET from The California Nations Indian Gaming Association

    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
     About CNIGA
     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