Editorial: Don't let North Fork Rancheria proceed with casino plan

Artist's rendering of the proposed North Fork Rancheria casino. Image from North Fork Casino Environmental Impact Statement

California newspaper doesn't think the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians should be able to open an off-reservation casino because voters oppose the project:
Indian gaming has fared well on the ballot. But voters were properly alarmed about setting a precedent under which giant gaming corporations could team with tribes on proposals to build casinos on just-acquired land near the state’s population centers.

Now we could see another unwanted precedent: an Indian tribe rejecting the idea that state voters can have any say over its project. John Myers of KQED News reports North Fork Tribe leaders have discussed asking U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to invoke federal precedence on tribal matters and impose a gaming compact on the state. Myers reports Gov. Jerry Brown, who supported the casino project, believes the tribe may have a legal case for such a request.

Ultimately, North Fork Tribe leaders will do what they think is best for their members. But unless the Obama administration believes it has no wiggle room at all under the 1988 federal law legalizing Indian gaming — which seems dubious — it shouldn’t overrule California voters who don’t want their state to become West Nevada.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tribe’s Prop. 48 end run must be squelched (The San Diego Union-Tribune 1/3)

Also Today:
Indian Casino, Nixed By Voters, May Not Be Dead (KQED 12/30)

Federal Register Notices:
Indian Gaming (October 22, 2013)
Land Acquisitions; North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California (December 3, 2012)

Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents:
Press Release | Fact Sheet: North Fork Rancheria Decision | Section 20 Determination: North Fork Rancheria

Related Stories
Column: Wealthy tribes spend big to limit competition to casinos (12/09)
North Fork Rancheria won't give up casino plans despite vote (11/06)

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