Editorial: Next governor of California can't ignore tribal gaming

"Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman haven't said much publicly a growing industry that generates $7 billion-plus annually. But soon after taking the oath of office, the next governor will have to deal with California Indian tribes that own casinos and are looking to renegotiate agreements with the state.

Tribes that aspire to own Las Vegas-style casinos will want a place at the bargaining table.

The gambling industry spent $48 million lobbying in Sacramento during the past 10 years. During that time, Indian casinos and some tribes and investors became rich, while counties and residents of certain rural areas faced traffic, environmental stress and social costs.

There is no doubt that expansion of gambling will continue. For example, the U.S. Interior Department recently created reservation land in Sonoma County. There also could be a casino on the shore of San Francisco Bay in Richmond.

In the San Joaquin Valley, various tribes are seeking new casinos, and looking for other ways to expand the gambling franchise.

Tribes are sovereign, although they have negotiated with the state to increase their gambling opportunities."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Don't ignore tribal gaming (The Fresno Bee 10/31)

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