Pechanga Band chair featured in ads against North Fork casino

YouTube: Honoring the Trust - Vote NO on CA Prop 48

The leader of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians stars in a "misleading" ad about the proposed North Fork Rancheria casino, according to an analysis by The Sacramento Bee.

In the ad, Chairman Marc Macarro said tribes previously promised voters they would limit casinos to "existing tribal land". But the paper points out that prior Indian gaming initiatives -- including 1A in 2000 -- did not contain such a restriction.

"Since voters approved Indian gambling, other tribes have used the federal process to gain recognition of new land," the analysis states. "The difference here is that the North Fork land is separated by 40 miles from the original reservation."

Macarro also accuses a "Nevada gambling company" of using the North Fork Rancheria to open the off-reservation casino. The paper, however, notes that some tribes in California have turned to outside management companies.

One of them -- the United Auburn Indian Community -- used the same company, Station Casinos of Las Vegas. The Auburn Tribe is opposing the North Fork casino.

For that reason, the Bee calls the ad "Mostly misleading."

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

The North Fork Rancheria won state and federal approval to open the casino. The project goes before voters next week in the form of Proposition 48.

A "yes" vote on ratifies the North Fork Rancheria's Class III gaming compact. It also ratifies a compact for the Wiyot Tribe, whose leaders agreed to forgo a casino in exchange for a cut of revenues from the North Fork casino.

A "no" vote, on the other hand, blocks the compact on the state level. However, the BIA has already approved the agreement and there is nothing that would prevent the tribe from signing another compact with the state, pursuing Class II gaming or asking the BIA to approve Class III gaming procedures.

Tribal leaders, in fact, have said they will build some sort of gaming facility regardless of the outcome next week.

Get the Story:
Ad Watch: No on 48 ad misleads on California tribal gambling history (The Sacramento Bee 10/29)

California Court of Appeal Decision:
Picayune Rancheria v. Brown (September 24, 2014)

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

Related Stories
Opinion: Vote yes to support North Fork Rancheria gaming deal (10/28)
Rivals raise $14M to stop North Fork off-reservation casino deal (10/27)

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