Currently pending in district court is a motion for summary judgment by the Pauma Band in their long-running dispute with the State of California over revenue sharing and their compact terms.
Here are the most recent materials:
This case is on remand from the Ninth Circuit (materials here).
FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP — A month ago, a resolution by the state Legislature that would allow for a casino in Fruitport Township seemed to be destined for quick passage.
The resolution — allowing the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians to operate a casino at the former Great Lakes Downs racetrack site — has hit a snag in the state House of Representatives. A vote on the resolution has yet to be taken, a committee hearing concerning the resolution is planned for the coming weeks in Lansing and the House speaker — who is also a candidate for governor — is taking some heat from locals.
State Rep. Doug Bennett, D-Muskegon Township, and Fruitport Township Supervisor Brian Werschem are blaming House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford, for the delay. Area lawmakers expect the resolution to pass if and when it reaches the House floor for a vote.
On the Senate side, Gerald Van Woerkom, R-Norton Shores, said he will not oppose the resolution.
Bennett said typically the speaker sends resolutions directly to the House floor for a vote rather than referring them to a committee.
“There’s nobody holding it up but the speaker,” Bennett said.
“Andy Dillon is intentionally stonewalling this project,” Werschem said.
Here is the circuit court opinion in State ex rel. Dewberry v. Kulongowski: Dewberry Oregon Circuit Ct Opinion.
The court held that over numerous challenges that a Class III gaming compact between the state and the Confederated Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians relating to the so-called “Hatch Tract” was valid.
Commentary on the case from Scott Crowell:
The well-reasoned opinion, attached, ruled in favor of the Coos Tribe and the State on the merits of the two critical questions before it. First, it held that the prohibition in the Oregon Constitution against casinos is a regulation on the manner in which games may be provided, rather than a prohibition against any type of gaming, and therefore does not apply to Tribes under IGRA. This leaves in tact the state laws that limit the Lottery games such that gaming cannot be the primary business in taverns, racetracks etc. Second, the court held that the Governor has the authority under both the Oregon Constitution and Oregon statutory law to execute and bind the State to the compact agreements. This is a major victory in that it is the first court case among several brought against compacts in other states that did not opine that the State Legislature must ratify the compacts before they are binding. Tribes in other states have been extorted into paying large fees to state coffers in order to get through the politics of legislative ratification.
The Gun Lake Tribe’s compact may be a model for agreements to be renegotiated in the next four to five years, according to James Hill, professor at Central Michigan University.
The compact is different from earlier agreements in three major ways. The tribe agreed to share revenue on an increasing scale, beginning with eight percent and rising to 12 percent of slot machine revenues, calculated on gross revenues. As the tribe makes more, it pays the state a higher percentage.
That might be the wave of the future, Hill said.
Another difference is the size of the exclusivity zone. instead of the whole state, the Gun Lake Tribe agreed to nine counties surrounding its Wayland casino.
This winter’s “2-percent” payments from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians are down for the third year in a row to the lowest level in more than a decade.
The twice-yearly payments represent two percent of the revenues earned from video slot machines at the tribe’s Leelanau Sands Casino in Peshawbestown and Turtle Creek Casino in Grand Traverse County. The tribe is required to pay out the money to local units of government in the immediate vicinity of tribal casinos for governmental services and “for impacts associated with existence” of tribal casinos in their vicinity under terms of a 1993 federal court consent decree. Since 1994, the tribe has paid out around $18 million in “2-percent” money.
County receives 10 applications for aid from tribal program.
Requests for “2-percent” casino revenue funding from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will be considered for endorsement by the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners at the board’s executive committee next week.