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Referendum on North Fork Rancheria casino qualifies for ballot

Filed Under: California | Casino Stalker | Compacts
More on: bia, elections, igra, north fork, off-reservation

Artist's rendering of the proposed North Fork Rancheria casino. Image from North Fork Casino Environmental Impact Statement

A referendum that seeks to stop the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians from opening an off-reservation has qualified for the ballot in California.

A group called Stand Up for California collected more than 800,000 signatures to put the tribe's Class III gaming compact to a statewide vote. The Secretary of State certified the referendum and it will appear on the November 2014 ballot.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, however, has already allowed the compact to go into effect. And the casino site has already been placed in trust.

When a similar situation arose in New York, the BIA refused to take action when a gaming compact for the Oneida Nation was invalidated through the state court system. In 2007, the Bush administration said there was no mechanism in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to revoke compacts.

The summary of the referendum follows:
REFERENDUM TO OVERTURN INDIAN GAMING COMPACTS. If signed by the required number of registered voters and timely filed with the Secretary of State, this petition will place on the statewide ballot a challenge to a state law previously approved by the Legislature and the Governor. The law must then be approved by a majority of voters at the next statewide election to go into effect. The law ratifies two gaming compacts (with the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, and the Wiyot Tribe); and it exempts execution of the compacts, certain projects, and intergovernmental agreements from the California Environmental Quality Act. (13-0007.)

Get the Story:
Madera casino project goes on ballet (The San Francisco Chronicle 11/21)
The Buzz: Californians will vote on Madera tribal casino (The Fresno Bee 11/21)
Gaming compact referendum qualifies for November ballot: Wiyot tribe would lose gaming revenue if casino plans thwarted (The Eureka Times-Standard 11/21)

Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents:
Press Release | Fact Sheet: North Fork Rancheria Decision | Section 20 Determination: North Fork Rancheria

Federal Register Notices:
Indian Gaming (October 22, 2013)
Land Acquisitions; North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California (December 3, 2012)

Related Stories:
North Fork Rancheria off-reservation casino faces voter test (10/24)

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