CNIGA Finds Inaccuracies in Attorney General Press Release

Press Release
For Immediate Release

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CNIGA Finds Inaccuracies in Attorney General Press Release

May 31, 2006

A release issued today announcing a report on California gaming commissioned by the California Attorney General contains some errors and misleading information that contradicts points made in the report. Foremost among these is a blatant error regarding tribal payments into two special funds.

The release claims that tribes have only paid $156.4 million into the two special funds, one of which was established to share revenue among California tribes with no or small gaming operations, while the other was to help local governments with off-reservation impacts. However, that number only represents payments into one of the funds and is off by $368 million.

According to figures cited on page 51 of the study, “payments made by gaming tribes to the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund, the Special Distribution Fund and the state’s General Fund from 2000 to September 30, 2005 totaled $543.4 million.” We hope the attorney general’s office will correct this mistake immediately.

Additionally, in the section on crime, the report cites a study that said crime increases around casinos over a several year period. The problem is that the study used was not only not California specific, but also only contains information for the years 1977 through 1996, well before Proposition 5 was passed in 1998 and Proposition 1A in 2000, after which most larger California gaming establishments were developed.

About CNIGA

Representing 66 federally recognized member tribes, CNIGA is the largest and most influential tribal organization in California. CNIGA is dedicated to protecting the sovereign right of Indian tribes to have gaming on their land. It acts as a planning and coordinating agency for legislative, policy, legal and communications efforts on behalf of its members and serves as an industry forum for information and resources.

Tribal governments have used gaming revenues to combat years of abject poverty, preserve their cultures and allowed them to build tribal infrastructure. Recent statistics from the California Employment Development Department state that tribal government gaming now employs 55,500 Californians.

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