The Harrah's Resort Southern California, owned by the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians in Valley Center, California, was bathed in pink to raise awareness of breast cancer. Photo: HarrahsSoCal

'At this point, we're suing': Tribes upset with handling of non-Indian gaming facilities

Tribes are threatening to sue the state of California for failing to crack down on non-Indian card rooms, Dave Palermo reports.

Writing for CDC Gaming Reports, Palermo says that tribes don't think the state Bureau of Gambling Control has been taking strong enough actions. The agency allowed card rooms to offer new table games, only to rescind them because they have been deemed "too similar" to the Class III games that are supposed to be exclusive to tribes.

“It’s a delaying tactic,” Steve Stallings, the chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, told Palermo. “At this point, we’re suing.”

But the card rooms won't be giving up easily. Even if they eliminate the questionable games, a group called Californians for Sports Betting is pushing a ballot initiative that would break the exclusivity promised to the tribes in their Class III gaming compacts, Palermo reports.

“I don’t think the vast majority of tribes are going to want to see that ballot initiative proceed on its own without some counter proposal that protects the tribes’ interests,” Stallings said in CDC Gaming Reports.

The initiative would appear on the 2020 ballot if proponents gather enough signatures for it.

California is the largest Indian gaming market in the U.S., according to the National Indian Gaming Commission and independent sources. Tribes throughout the state are expanding gaming and non-gaming offerings at their properties in hopes of drawing in more patrons, The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.

Read More on the Story
California gambling regulators pledge crackdown on card rooms, but tribes remain angry (CDC Gaming Reports October 29, 2018)
Hotels, more slots and restaurants: What’s new and what’s coming to Southern California casinos (The Riverside Press-Enterprise October 29, 2018)

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