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Class III gaming compacts for five tribes in California take effect




The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation owns and operates the Cache Creek Casino Resort in Brooks, California. Photo from Facebook

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has allowed Class III gaming compacts for five tribes in California to take effect.

Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the BIA has 45 days to review a compact. At the end of the period, the agency can approve or reject the agreement.

But there's a third situation in which the BIA can allow a compact to take effect even though it might have concerns about certain provisions. That's what is happening to agreements signed by the Barona Band of Mission Indians, the Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians, the Jamul Indian Village, the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

The compacts are considered approved as of Monday. But they are only legal to the extent their provisions are "consistent" with IGRA, according to a notice published in the Federal Register.

The notice does not explain why the BIA allowed the five agreements to take effect and the agency's Office of Indian Gaming Management hasn't posted a letter discussing the issue, as it has done in some prior instances.

Just last month, the BIA allowed a compact for the Pala Band of Mission Indians, also in California, to take effect. And in October, agreements with four more California tribes were considered to be approved, but only to the extent their provisions are "consistent" with IGRA.

Federal Register Notices:
Indian Gaming; Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compacts Taking Effect in the State of California (December 5, 2016)
Indian Gaming; Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact Taking Effect in the State of California (November 4, 2016)
Indian Gaming; Approval of Amended Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact in the State of California (October 31, 2016)
Indian Gaming; Approval of Amendment to Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact in the State of California (October 31, 2016)
Indian Gaming; Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact Taking Effect in the State of California (October 31, 2016)
Indian Gaming; Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact Taking Effect in the State of California (October 31, 2016)

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Eight tribes push for passage of new gaming compacts in California (08/10)
California governor reaches five more Class III gaming compacts (8/5)
Buena Vista Rancheria signs updated Class III casino compact (06/30)