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California signs new gaming compact with Tule River Tribe

Cali

tulerivercalifornia
fornia state governor Jerry Brown Jr. has signed a new tribal gaming compact between the state and the Tule River Indian Tribe, superseding the current compact which was due to sunset in 2020.

Under the new compact the Tule River Indian tribe can continue its current operations at its Eagle Mountain Casino, which currently employs over 500 people in the region. This casino is currently in the process of being relocated to land near to the Porterville Municipal Airport, pending approval from the US Department of the Interior.

Its new compact will now need to be approved by both houses of the state legislature before it can be ratified.

In a letter to California officials as reported by the Porterville Recorder newspaper, Tule River Tribal Council Chairman Neil Peyron said: “The Eagle Mountain Casino is essential to the tribe’s viability.”

“With revenues from the casino, the tribe has invested in improving the reservation and its members by establishing a fire department, police department, medical and dental facility, elementary school, justice centre, student study centre, and Veterans centre.”

Also included are provisions to extend the sunset period of the compact by a further 20 years and changes to the local mitigation processes and payments into a state special distribution fund. These amendments bring the compact into line with other tribal compacts currently operating in the state.

Currently the Tule River tribe is one of a small number of Indian tribes that contributes funds to the special distribution fund, which was set up to help mitigate the impact that tribal casinos have on their surrounding communities.

Since the fund was established in 2004, more than $4 million has been distributed locally, with the bulk of these funds going to local groups in the City of Porterville and Tulare County.

Under the current provisions of the fund local government agencies can apply for grants, but more recent tribal compacts have allowed tribes to pay mitigation funds directly to their local governments. This trend has resulted in fewer tribes paying into the fund which eventually ran out in 2014.

Peyron added: “In the revised compact, the tribe and local governments’ work directly to address local mitigation issues ensuring that local governments are receiving their fair share of resources.”


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