Prop 70: Tribal Gaming Compacts

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, November 1, 2004
Proposition 70, sponsored by tribal governments, would get rid of current limits on slot machines and allow gaming tribes to operate table games, like craps and roulette. In exchange for exclusive gaming rights for 99 years, tribes would pay the state a percentage of their net income equivalent to the corporate tax rate paid by private businesses, currently about eight-point-eight percent. “Yes on 70” spokesman Bill Rukeyser (Roo-KY-zer) says the heart of the issue for tribes is sovereignty. Cut:Bill5 (:13) “They are making an offer to pay hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year in exchange for the right to decide how the businesses are run only on their reservations.” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is campaigning hard to defeat the measure—at a recent event in Sacramento, he said the initiative undercuts “fair share” agreements he’s already negotiated with some tribes. Cut: GovGam1 (:16) “ They deal with all of the issues—from how much money we get—we ask for fifteen to 25-percent, we want to make sure we have protection of the workers, protection of the customers and protection of the environment.” The campaign has been a heated one. A recent comment made by the Governor was condemned as racist and prompted calls for an apology from Prop 70 supporters. Schwarzenegger brushed off the charges and continued to campaign against Prop 70 and another initiative, Prop 68 that would allow race tracks and card rooms to operate slot machines if Indian casinos did not agree to pay 25-percent of their gaming revenue to local governments. The Prop 68 campaign called it quits but is still on the ballot and is the subject of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to make sure Californians don’t vote it—or Prop 70-- into law. SOC