Tribal Gaming Compacts

The Governor and the Legislature approved a new tribal gaming compact with the Yurok Tribe; and the amended compacts for the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians; the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation; the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; the Morongo Band of Mission Indian Tribes and the letter of agreement with San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The amended compacts increased the number of slot machines at the casinos opened by those tribes and annual payments of hundreds of million dollars will be given annually to the state from the tribes.

The ratification legislation included: SB 174 (Ducheny) the Morongo Band of Mission Indians Compact; SB 106 (Wiggins) the Yurok Tribe Compact; SB 175 (Ducheny) the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation; SB 903 (Padilla) the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians; SB 957 (Torlakson) the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; AB 1212 (Nunez) approved a Letter of Agreement with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; and AB 1738 (Coto) approved the Memorandums of Agreement with the four tribes which addressed the concerns that arose subsequent to the conclusion of negotiations of the gaming compact amendments.

Memoranda of Agreement

Under the memoranda of agreement, tribes will:

Require their Gaming Facility employees to comply with state court and agency orders pertaining to child, family, and spousal support.

Provide to the state documents related to their workers' compensation system if they have not entered into the state's system.

Establish comprehensive programs to address problem gambling. The programs will include: (a) training of employees to identify and manage problem gambling; (b) posting of signage with information for patrons on where to obtain assistance for gambling problems; (c) exclusion programs for problem gamblers; (d) efforts to prevent underage individuals from loitering in areas where gambling occurs; and (e) assurances that marketing and advertising contain a responsible gambling message.

Maintain and implement minimum internal control standards for Class III gaming that are no less stringent than those contained in the Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS) of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) until such time as the State Gaming Agency has regulations in effect that contain standards as stringent as the MICS, and the NIGC regains authority to adopt and enforce MICS.

Agree to submit to enforcement and auditing by the state to ensure the tribes are in compliance with the MICS.

Provide copies of financial audits to the state, including any Class III gaming audits submitted to the NIGC.

In addition, the tribes and state agree that any disputes that occur under the Memorandums of Agreement will be resolved first by good-faith negotiations. Disputes that are not resolved by negotiation may be submitted to binding arbitration. The arbitration award may be enforced in federal or state court.

At the time of this writing, referendums are being circulated by the horseracing industry and the labor unions to place these Compacts on the ballot for consideration by the voters.