July 31, 2007

Gaming tribes vs. nongaming tribes

Gaming power play pits tribal haves vs. have-notsCalifornia's oldest and largest Indian gambling organization is in turmoil, with nongaming bands challenging the historic rule of wealthy tribes in what some say is an inevitable clash of the “haves and have-nots.”

A push by nongaming tribes for more power within the California Nations Indian Gaming Association prompted a prominent tribal leader to raise the question that has simmered for years: Should nongaming tribes even have a vote in an organization established to promote gambling?

Without changes in the organization's voting and dues structure--casino tribes largely bankroll the operation--Agua Caliente Chairman Richard Milanovich suggested his Palm Springs tribe may pull out, as it did five years ago during a previous mass exodus.

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