Editorial: North Fork Rancheria gaming plan must come to an end

The North Fork Rancheria plans to build a casino at this site along Rd 23 near Madera, California. Image from Google Maps

Newspaper calls on Congress to pass H.R.5079, the California Compact Protection Act, a bill that would prevent the Bureau of Indian Affairs from approving or otherwise allowing Class III gaming on lands held in trust for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians:
Proposition 1A never would have been approved by California voters in 2000 if they thought it would create a Nevada-style atmosphere of ubiquitous casinos. If the North Fork project is built, what is to prevent a casino operator with much deeper pockets than Station Casinos — say, Sheldon Adelson or Steve Wynn — from partnering with a California tribe and putting up a casino on newly acquired land in San Diego, Los Angeles or the Bay Area? Money talks.

We urge the Obama administration to head off this possibility by rejecting the compact. If administration lawyers conclude that is not an option under federal law, then we hope Congress quickly approves and President Obama signs a bill introduced last month by Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, and co-sponsored by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock. The bill would ban the federal government from approving construction of Indian casinos located off reservations if they had been rejected in a state referendum or if they had not been approved by a state legislature.

It shouldn’t take an act of Congress for common sense to prevail. But in the case of the casino project that wouldn’t die, that’s what it’s come to.

Get the Story:
Editorial: No should mean no on off-reservation Indian casinos (The San Diego Union-Tribune 5/19)

Tribal Leader Opinions on H.R.5079, the California Compact Protection Act:
Maryann McGovran: Don't be fooled by efforts of 'wealthy' tribes (5/13)
Claudia Gonzales: Off-reservation gaming fuels attacks on tribes (5/13)

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

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

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