According to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, there are over 100 Indian rancherias/reservations in California encompassing over 400,000 acres. These Indian lands are located throughout the state in 38 different counties. Currently, there are 41 Indian gambling operations in California, located on rancherias/reservations throughout the state.
|Indian Gambling Operations in California|
|As of July 1997|
|Amador||Jackson Indian Bingo and Casino||Jackson||Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians|
|Butte||Feather Falls Casino||Oroville||Mooretown Rancheria|
|Gold Country Casino||Oroville||Tyme Maidu Tribe of the Berry Creek Rancheria|
|Colusa||Colusa Indian Bingo||Colusa||Colusa Band of Wintun Indians|
|Del Norte||Golden Bear Casino||Klammath||Coast Indian Community of the Resighini Rancheria|
|Elk Valley Casino||Crescent City||Elk Valley Rancheria|
|Lucky 7 Casino||Smith River||Smith River Rancheria|
|Fresno||Mono Wind Casino||Auberry||Auberry Big Sandy Rancheria|
|Table Mountain Rancheria Casino and Bingo||Friant||Table Mountain Rancheria|
|Humboldt||Hoopa||Lucky Bear Casino and Bingo||Hoopa Valley Tribe|
|Cher-Ae Heights Bingo and Casino||Trinidad||Trinidad Rancheria|
|Imperial||Paradise Casino||Winterhaven||Quechan Indian Tribe|
|Inyo||Sierra Spring Casino||Big Pine||Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley|
|Konocti Vista Casino and Bingo||Finley||Big Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians|
|Paiute Palace Casino||--||Bishop Paiute Tribe|
|Kings||The Palace Indian Gaming Center||Lemoore||Santa Rosa Band of Tachi Indians of the Santa Rosa Rancheria|
|Lake||Twin Pines Casino||Middletown||Lake Miwok Indian Nation of the Middletown Rancheria|
|Robinson Rancheria Bingo and Casino||Nice||Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians|
|Lassen||Northern Lights Casino||Susanville||Susanville Indian Rancheria|
|Mendocino||Red Fox Casino and Bingo||Laytonville||Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria|
|Shodaki Coyote Valley Casino||--||Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians|
|Hopland Sho-ka-wah Casino||Hopland||Hopland Band of Pomo Indians|
|Black Hart Casino||--||Sherwood Valley Rancheria|
|Riverside||Spa Hotel and Casino||Palm Springs||Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians|
|Cabazon Bingo Inc., Fantasy Springs Casino||Indio||Cabazon Band of Mission Indians|
|Cahuilla Creek Rest and Casino||--||Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians|
|Casino Morongo||Cabazon||Morongo Band of Mission Indians|
|Soboba Legends Casino||San Jacinto||Soboba Band of Mission Indians|
|Pechanga Entertainment Center||Temecula||Temecula Band of Luiseno Mission Indians|
|Spotlight 29 Casino||Coachella||Twenty Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians|
|San Bernardino||Havasu Landing Resort and Casino||Havasu||Chemehuevi Indian Tribe|
|San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino||Highland||San Manuel Band of Mission Indians|
|San Diego||Barona Casino and Bingo||Lakeside||Barona Band of Mission Indians|
|Sycuan Indian Bingo and Poker Casino||El Cajon||Sycuan Band of Mission Indians|
|Viejas Casino and Turf Club||Alpine||Viejas Band of Mission Indians|
|Santa Barbara||Chumash Casino||Santa Ynez||Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians|
|Shasta||Burney Casino||Burney||Pit River Tribe|
|Win-River Casino Bingo||Redding||Redding Rancheria|
|Tulare||Eagle Mountain Casino||--||Tule River Tribe of the Tule River Indian Reservation|
|Tuolumne||Chicken Ranch Bingo||Jamestown||Chicken Ranch Band of Me-Wuk Indians|
|Yolo||Cache Creek Bingo and Casino||Brooks||Rumsey Indian Rancheria|
|Source: National Indian Gaming Commission.|
In past years, Indian gambling in California consisted almost exclusively of bingo and card games like those played in other statewide card rooms. This is because these are the Class II gambling activities allowed in California that the Indians could operate without a compact. As mentioned above, all Class III gambling on Indian land requires a compact between the state and the Indians. To date, California has entered into compacts with five Indian tribes, allowing only parimutuel wagering on horse racing.
In recent years, however, Indians have offered other types of gambling. For instance, currently one of the most debated issues concerning Indian gambling in California is the operation of video machines in Indian casinos. According to the IGRA, electronic games are Class III games and therefore require a tribal-state compact. There are no recent statewide estimates for the number of machines currently in operation on Indian land. The Attorney General's Office, however, estimated in 1996 that there were over 12,000 video machines operating on Indian lands in California.
In addition, twenty-one (blackjack) is played in some Indian casinos (although the betting is slightly different than in traditional casinos). As noted earlier, twenty-one is specifically prohibited by state law, making it a Class III activity in California (that is, there must be a tribal-state compact).
Under federal law, all state laws regarding the licensing, regulation, or prohibition of gambling are applicable to gambling on Indian lands. However, the federal law provides federal authorities with the exclusive jurisdiction to prosecute any violations of state gambling laws on Indian lands. Thus, the State of California does not have the legal authority to enforce its gambling laws on Indian land. The regulation of Indian gambling at the federal level is the responsibility of the National Indian Gaming Commission, which has the power to assess civil penalties for violations of the IGRA. In addition, the commission can order the closure of any Indian gambling operations for violations of the IGRA.
There are currently several cases regarding various issues of Indian gambling in California pending in the federal court system. These involve the issues of: (1) off-track betting taxes collected at the wagering site and (2) the legality of slot machines.
Implications for the Legislature. At present, there is no clear process for the state to reach agreement and enter into compacts with Indian tribes for Class III gambling operations in California. Under the IGRA, the state clearly has the authority to negotiate Class III gambling. What is unclear, however, are what roles the Legislature and Governor have in these negotiations. Furthermore, given the gambling restrictions in the State Constitution and state statutes, it is not clear what types of Class III activities could be allowed under a tribal-state compact. In light of these issues coupled with the growth in gambling activities on Indian landswe recommend the Legislature clarify (1) the process and procedures for negotiating Class III gambling compacts with the Indian tribes, (2) the respective roles of both the executive and the legislative branches in that process, and (3) the specific Class III gambling activities that can be negotiated in California.
This report was prepared by Megan M. Atkinson, under the supervision of Gerald Beavers. The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) is a nonpartisan office which provides fiscal and policy information and advice to the Legislature.
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