January 25, 2008

Big four didn't oppose Dickstein five

Some background on California tribes that have renegotiated their gaming compacts. The so-called "big four" aren't the first to take this route.

Governor, tribes sign casino pact

Oakland Tribune, Jun 22, 2004 by Steve GeissingerThe reworked compacts between the state and five tribes are expected to bring in at least $1 billion for California in the new fiscal year that begins next week, then annual payments afterward of $150 million to $200 million until 2030.

The new agreements also allow five tribes--out of 61 gaming tribes--to increase their casinos' number of slot machines beyond the current 2,000-per-tribe cap, which will help the tribes make the payments.

At the same time, the deal lets Schwarzenegger fulfill a campaign promise to have at least some tribes pay a greater share of their income to the state. Much of the additional money, under Schwarzenegger's proposed budget, will go to repay money borrowed from transportation funds.

"This is a fair deal for the tribes and for the state," Schwarzenegger said in a lengthy ceremony in Sacramento's ornate Memorial Auditorium. "I am hopeful that more tribes will join us."To pay the money to the state, the tribes will sell bonds that generate the $1 billion and then make the annual payments for 18 years until the bonds are paid off. Then the tribes will make direct payments to the state until the end of the compact period.

The Republican governor signed the pacts with the Pala Band of Mission Indians, the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians in Yolo County, the United Auburn Indian Community in Placer County, the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians.

Howard Dickstein, an attorney representing the Pala, Rumsey and Auburn tribes, also represents a Rusmey-led management group that hopes to run the Casino San Pablo card room for the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians.
Comment:  So the "big four" tribes didn't oppose the five Dickstein tribes when they renegotiated their compacts four years ago. But now two of the Dickstein tribes--Pala and United Auburn--oppose the big four for doing what they did previously. I guess turnabout isn't fair play when you're a Dickstein tribe trying to protect your interests.

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