February 11, 2013
The federal government has decided to side with the Rincon Band of Luiseņo Indians over payments from gaming revenues to the state.
Gaming compacts are negotiated between the tribe and the state setting the amount of money that will be paid. The amount of money that is made from gaming by the tribe is taxed by the state.
When the tribe had asked to add 900 new gaming machines to their casino a new compact had to be negotiated. In order for the state to agree to the additional gaming machines, the state required a larger portion to be paid. The money would be used to aid the state's budget.
However, the federal government states the goal of Indian gaming is to earn money to directly help the tribes. Money would go to fund tribal healthcare, employment, tribal public safety, community services, as well as tribal government.
The Rincon Band then sued the state of California as well as then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for bad faith and illegal taxation.
The federal government sided with the Rincon Band of Luiseņo Indians. The tribe will now pay less than before. The ruling will limit the amount that the state can ask for. It will also protect the sovereignty of the tribe.
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