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Dec 03rd
Home Columns Op-Ed Page Please Vote “No” on Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97
Please Vote “No” on Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97 PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Op-Ed Page
Tuesday, 22 January 2008 10:57

The urges California voters, especially Filipino-American constituents, to reject the new state gambling compacts with four Southern California Indian tribes.


Proposition 94 is about the new slot machines for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians’ casino in Temecula.

Proposition 95 is for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, which operates a casino in Banning along Interstate 10.

Proposition 96 addresses the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, with its casino in El Cajon in San Diego County.

Proposition 97 involves the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, which operates casinos in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.

The compacts with the four Indian tribes would authorize them to operate 17,000 more slot machines, in addition to the 8,000 “one-arm bandits” that they already have in their casinos. If Propositions 94 to 97 pass, the four tribes would pay the state 15% to 25% of the profits from the additional 17,000 machines. The four Indian tribes claim that they would pay more-than $9-billion to California during the 23-year terms of the compact. This would mean some $391.30-million per year for the 17,000 slot machines. This would translate to $23,017.65 per year per slot machine or $63.06 per machine per day.

There are social costs that casino gambling creates for the state and the respective counties where the four Indian tribes operate. The state share of $63.06 per slot machine per day may not even be enough to offset the increased costs of providing services to fight compulsive-gambling addiction that in turn brings about violence, separated families, foster-home services for the minor children of divorcing families, etceteras, etc., and what not. The claim that the additional revenue from the compacts would help California with its budgetary deficits is just as vain as the gambler’s hope of hitting the jackpot in the proposed new slot machines.

There are other arguments made by the opponents of Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97. Among the groups that oppose them are even Indian tribes such as United Auburn Indian Community and the Pala Band of Mission Indians, which say that the propositions provide too many slot machines to only four of California’s 108 (1-0-8) federally-recognized tribes. The opponents say that the revenue to the state from the four compacts is overestimated. There is also the argument that the compacts do not ensure that California would get its fair share, as the percentage is based on projected profits from the operation of the slot machines.

Even labor unions are against the propositions. The “Unite Here,” a union that represents hotel workers, claims that the compacts actually hinder efforts to unionize casino workers.

In short, Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97 bring more disadvantages than benefits to the State of California and her people, including American Native Indians. Voters should and must reject them. # # #

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 14:43

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