Why Proposition 70 is a Threat to Local Government
Proposition 70, the Tribal Gaming Compacts and Exclusive Gaming Rights Initiative on the November General Election ballot, is not what it seems. The wealthy Indian gaming tribes behind Proposition 70 want you to believe this measure will force tribes to "pay their fair share." The truth is that it gives these Indian gaming tribes a 99-year monopoly on gambling without ever having to pay their fair share in revenues to the state. When problems arise with the provisions of Prop 70 -- which will inevitably happen -- California will be virtually powerless to deal with those problems because they are locked into place by this initiative.
Local communities across California have suffered from problems with traffic congestion, crime and environmental contamination as a result of Indian casinos. Prop 70 does not require tribes to negotiate with local governments and provides almost no money to mitigate these impacts. Prop 70 will result in:
LESS MONEY. Tribes under Prop 70 "would not be subject to the requirement for negotiations with local governments concerning community impacts. As a result, local governments would likely receive less in payments from tribes. The amount of any such reduction is unknown but would likely be in the millions of dollars annually." (Official Voter Guide, LAO Analysis, p. 64.) Further, unrelated casino businesses that are operated by Indian tribes -- such as hotels, restaurants and retail operations -- will also escape taxation, although they will compete with businesses that do pay taxes.
EXEMPT FROM LOCAL AND STATE LAWS. Casino gambling operations on tribal lands are exempt from local and state building codes, zoning ordinances, health and safety codes, state environmental laws and even workplace safety and workers' compensation requirements. Under Prop 70, cities and counties will not be able to impose any reasonable restrictions on Indian gambling operations of any kind.
NO REGULATION. Proposition 70 permits virtually no local or state oversight or regulation of casino gambling. When inevitable problems arise -- whether they be law enforcement, environmental, traffic congestion or health and safety issues -- local officials will be powerless to force the casino operators to assume responsibility for these problems.
MASSIVE EXPANSION OF GAMBLING. Prop 70 requires the California governor to approve every single request for casino gambling that crosses his desk -- within 30 days. The approval of this initiative would encourage the establishment of casino gambling operations in virtually every county in California and there would be no limit on the location or size of these casinos or the number of gaming machines and table they could operate.
Indian tribes don't need Proposition 70 to conduct legal gaming on their reservations. Federal law prescribes a process that permits tribes to operate casinos -- and build new casinos. So far, more than 60 California tribes have negotiated compacts with the state that allow these tribes to conduct legal gaming operations. Proposition 70 circumvents this process by forcing California's governor to rubber stamp every request by every tribe to build a casino anywhere they establish "Indian land" with no requirement that the concerns of local communities be mitigated or the cost of providing local government services be compensated.
No on Propositions 68 and 70 - Governor Schwarzenegger's Committee for Fair Share Gaming Agreements with major funding from Governor Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team. FPPC ID# 1266181