BIA rejects Class III gaming compact for Pinoleville Pomo Nation

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has rejected a Class III gaming compact submitted by the Pinoleville Pomo Nation of California.

The compact authorized up to 900 slot machines for the tribe. In exchange, the tribe agreed to share 15 percent of net win with the state and pay an annual fee of $900 for each gaming device in excess of 349 devices.

The state agreed to grant the tribe exclusive gaming rights within a 75-mile area. But Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk said the state's offer was not a "meaningful concession," as that term has been discussed in cases decided by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The tribe also claimed other provisions of the compact were "meaningful concessions." Echo Hawk, however, said these were routine parts of the negotiating process.

"As such, the state has not conceded anything it was not otherwise required to negotiate pursuant to IGRA," Echo Hawk wrote in a letter to the tribe. "Moreover, the tribe has not gained anything to which it is not otherwise entitled pursuant to the good-faith negotiation provision of IGRA. We therefore conclude that these compact provisions do not constitute a meaningful concession in this instance."

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Commentary on Pinoleville Compact Denial (Turtle Talk 3/2)