Discussing Proposition 48

One of the hot button issues on the ballot this year involves a major concern for some California voters. Proposition 48 relates to the Native American Indian gaming compacts and what the future may hold for those who want to make additional request for gambling licenses within The Golden State. Lawmakers and citizens sit on both sides of the issue, and both have relatively valid points about what the additional casino locations could represent to local communities and the state as a whole. The referendum was forced onto the ballot by a mass signature petition campaign started by concerned voters.

The California Legislature passed AB 277 in June 2013 to approve additional gaming compacts between California and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe. According to the Annotated State Constitution, voters are able decide on a referendum before a proposal is actually passed into law. Proposition 48 would approve or refuse additional tribal gaming compacts for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wioyt Tribes. The agreement would require a multi-million dollar one time payment in addition to annuity payment equal to ten million dollars to be paid by the tribes to state and local governments over a twenty year period.

What Voting YES Means For Californians

Approving the Proposition 48 referendum means the local communities could be inundated with the design and construction of at least one new casino in Madera County that would be owned and operated by Native Americans in California. Proponents cite the benefits of additional tax revenue and the creation of new jobs if the proposal is passed into law. Previous attempts at gaining permission for private casino building projects have not been successful. California, like many other states, offers a clear and consistent preference toward Native American gambling establishments. The partnership between states and the various tribes have been beneficial for both parties on multiple levels.

What Voting NO Means For Californians

Despite the potential revenue benefits and a peaceable agreement between Indian tribes that would allow the building of a new casino by the North Fork tribe, some residents and lawmakers are against the proposition. The idea of another Las Vegas style casino would create a propensity toward more gaming institutions to be built off the traditional reservations. Conservatives feel that this first step could potentially create chaos that, if left unchecked, would result in a new reputation for their community as a gambling capital rather than a family oriented community.

As the polls flood with interested residents for and against Proposition 48, several factors still hang in the balance. The past success of Native American compacts has resulted in mutually beneficial profits and additional benefits to the state and local communities. However, the possibility of contention among tribes and between tribal and privatized casinos is a very real concern that must be considered before any further action is taken. All angles need to be reviewed and addressed collectively by voters and lawmakers before the final decision is made and a proposal is drafted into law.

Post Vote Update - Voters Reject Proposition 48

In a clear and collective voice, the voters in the Golden State have spoken and rejected expansion to the existing casino gambling industry already present in California by voting no on Proposition 48. We knew the vote would be close with significant numbers of residents on both sides of the issue. By voting down the measure, the North Fork tribe is refused a gaming compact with the state of California that would allow them to build a brick and mortar casino gambling facility. The state is pretty evenly divided between conservative and liberal views on the issue, and it seems the conservatives had a few more numbers on their side of the fence. The gaming compact would have allowed expansion for at least one additional resort style gaming destination in the state, which would have joined the existing land based casino gambling options available to residents. There are more than 100 casinos in California, including 60 Indian casinos. There are also a number of California online casino games that players can legally participate in.

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