California tribal casino sharing fund slowly losing money

A revenue-sharing fund that was created by California's 1999 Class III gaming compact is slowly running out of money, The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.

Tribes that signed the compact contribute a portion of their revenues to the Indian Gambling Special Distribution Fund (SDF). The money goes to local communities and to poorer tribes.

But contributions are dwindling because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) negotiated new compacts that require tribes to put money into the state's general fund rather than the SDF. Schwarzenegger has also prevented some of money in the SDF from going to local communities.

The SDF will have a balance of $117.2 million in June. By next year, it will fall to $84.7 million and could run out of money within five or six years.

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Bill on casino distribution fund advances (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 4/22)