Editorial: Lessons learned from tribes and the casino industry

"Indian tribes are an important part of the Coachella Valley. They are part of our history and a key ingredient in the success of our tourism industry.

An iSun investigation published in The Desert Sun this week tells the story of how the four tribes in the Inland Empire and the Coachella Valley have become major political contributors in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., how they were exploited by lobbyists and of the ongoing debate over online poker.

Ten years ago, Jack Abramoff and his lobbying partner Michael Scanlon persuaded the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to spend $10.2 million on their firm over a two-year period. That was part of $82 million the firm collected from six Native American tribal governments in the early 2000s.

Abramoff and Scanlon had a scheme to oust the late Richard Milanovich as the Agua Caliente chairman, a post he held for 28 years. Fortunately, the scheme didn’t work. Abramoff and Scanlon both went to federal prison for their actions."

Get the Story:
Our Voice: Lessons learned in tribal gaming (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 2/1)

Also Today:
Tribes divided on how online poker will affect their casino operations (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 1/29)

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Tribes in California spent $4.8M on Internet poker lobbying (1/28)

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