From here, via Pechanga:
Landmark intergovernmental agreements between California’s small and once impoverished American Indian communities and surrounding cities and counties are playing a crucial role in the growth of the nation’s largest tribal casino market.
But the agreements, intended to mitigate the impact of casinos and economic growth on sovereign Indian land held in trust by the federal government, are not without controversy.
Combined with a recent federal court ruling on the legality of tribes sharing casino revenue with the state, they muddle the future of California’s $7.3bn gambling industry.
“The whole nature of tribal, state and local government relations in California, as far as sharing revenues and mitigating the impacts of gaming, is being thrown up for grabs,” observes Nikki Symington, a consultant for the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, a small community near San Diego. “I don’t know that there is any happy solution down the road.”
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act intended that non-Indian use of gambling revenue be largely restricted to regulatory oversight, problem gambling and other casino impacts.
Many of the fifty-seven California tribes that signed model 1999 tribal-state agreements, or compacts, allowing them to operate casinos voluntarily entered into local intergovernmental agreements and paid into a special distribution fund for traffic, public safety and other local impacts.
There are 107 federally recognize
d tribes in California, more than any state. Until casino gambling most were small, impoverished communities lacking roads, adequate utilities and with no history of government and political relations with the state, counties and municipalities.
“Our communities have been here a long, long time. But for 200 years we have been largely invisible, politically disenfranchised and isolated by poverty and neglect,” Anthony Pico, a citizen of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, told a November 2007 meeting of the San Diego Association of Governments. “Gaming changed all that. We are trying to do what it has taken our neighboring counties and municipalities several generations to accomplish.”
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