CNIGA Meets with New Chair of State Gambling Control Commission

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CNIGA Meets with New Chair of State Gambling Control Commission

March 19, 2004

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) met for the first time yesterday with Burks “Dean” Shelton, new chairman of the state’s Gambling Control Commission.

Shelton spoke to the association’s monthly meeting and was welcomed by CNIGA chair Anthony Miranda who said he looked forward to future discussions with Shelton. CNIGA represents 62 of the 107 federally recognized tribes in the state.

“The tribes’ relationship with the California Gambling Control Commission is still a relatively new one and there are a number of issues that need to be discussed,” Miranda said. “Under federal law, tribal gaming agencies are the primary regulatory body on tribal lands, but the state clearly has a role too. CNIGA looks forward to continued discussions with Mr. Shelton.”

Shortly after being named to his post by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Shelton said he believes there needs to be clarification on the lines of authority between the commission and tribal governments in the state.

The commission licenses key employees who work in tribal casinos. The commission also is the trustee of an estimated $50 million that gaming tribes pay into the revenue sharing trust fund (RSTF). Revenue from this fund is distributed to non-gaming and small gaming tribes throughout the state.

The tribes have also paid an estimated $80 million into the special distribution fund (SDF). Revenue from the SDF is distributed to city and county governments to mitigate the impacts of tribal casinos on non-tribal land. In addition, money from the fund goes to underwrite programs to deal with gambling addiction and to pay the administrative costs of the commission itself.

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