Archive for the ‘ Morongo Band of Mission Indians ’ Category

Morongo Casino

The sun sets on the Morongo Casino Resort Spa in Cabazon, Calif., in 2005. The leader of the wealthy Riverside County tribe has raised concerns about fantasy sports legislation. (Glenn Koenig/AP)

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
February 10, 2016 – 3:33 PM

  • The Morongo and San Manuel bands question the legislation’s fairness
  • Tribes suggest daily fantasy sports games are illegal
  • Assembly Bill 1437 swept through the Assembly last month

The daily fantasy sports industry’s string of easy wins in the California Legislature may be about to end.

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The Sacramento Bee: California’s share of Indian gambling money dwindles


Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
September 6, 2015

  • Several tribal-state agreements in mid-2000’s included money for state
  • Court decision deemed such payments illegal taxation
  • Tribes happier with Jerry Brown than they were with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, beginning with the recall campaign and on through his two terms in office, repeatedly linked the state’s tribal casino business to state finances.

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The PE: MORONGO RESERVATION: Former tribal chairman Maurice Lyons dies

Maurice Lyons

Maurice Lyons, center, vice chairman for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, smiles as he watches art student Jeremy Jones paint with watercolors that were purchased with the donation that Lyons made to Nicolet Middle School in Banning in 2011./File Photo

October 18, 2013; 11:16 PM

During 15 years of service on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians tribal council, Maurice Lyons was dedicated to promoting tribal self sufficiency through economic opportunity and education.

Lyons died Wednesday, Oct. 16, at age 63, states a news release by Michael Fisher, spokesman for the tribe.

To read story by Gail Wesson in The Press Enterprise, click here.

The PE: INTERNET POKER: Tribes working to craft online poker bill

internet poker

Ultimate Poker’s web site went live Tuesday, April 30 in Nevada. It’s the only legal online poker site for money in the country.

May 07, 2013; 06:29 PM

SACRAMENTO — Representatives of some of the state’s most successful tribes with casinos have met privately to hammer out a proposal to legalize online poker, tribal leaders and others said Tuesday.

To read story by Jim Miller in The Press Enterprise, click here.

The PE: TRIBAL CASINO: Inland tribes lose Assembly vote

California Assembly Seal

May 02, 2013; 02:17 PM

SACRAMENTO – In a rare legislative setback for members of Inland Southern California’s powerful tribal casino industry, the Assembly narrowly passed legislation ratifying a gaming compact between the Brown administration and a Central Valley tribe.

To read story by Jim Miller in The Press Eneterpise, click here.

The PE: TRIBAL GAMING: Some Inland tribes oppose pact

Poker Table

The Assembly is set to vote on a measure critics say sets precedent for casino proximity to cities

May 01, 2013; 06:35 PM

SACRAMENTO — A pair of influential Riverside County tribes with casinos are trying to scuttle a gaming compact between the state and a Central Valley tribe that could come up for an Assembly ratification vote as early as today.

To read story by Jim Miller in The Press Enterprise, click here.

SacBee: State’s Indian casinos saw gains in 2011

Slot Machines

Published: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 6B
Last Modified: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 – 12:11 am

Following three years of decline, California’s Indian casinos enjoyed a comeback in revenue during 2011, according to a new report.

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The PE: INDIAN CASINOS: Case may affect previous slot-machine deals

Slot Machines

February 18, 2013; 04:17 PM

SACRAMENTO — San Diego County’s Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians this month became the first California tribe to get a casino agreement through the federal courts.

To read story by Jim Miller In The Press Enterprise, click here.

The PE: TRIBES: New study touts casinos’ economic benefits


Published: 07 August 2012 10:01 PM

SACRAMENTO – California’s Indian-gaming industry pumps $7.5 billion annually into the state’s economy and supports more than 52,000 jobs, according to a tribal-commissioned study meant to showcase the contributions of their casinos.

To read story by Jim Miller in the Press-Enterprise, click here.

The PE: ONLINE POKER: Author pulls bill at first hearing


Published: 12 June 2012 08:03 PM

SACRAMENTO — Deep differences among members of the state’s politically powerful gaming industry, particularly tribes with casinos, have once again stalled legislation to legalize online gambling in California.

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CaliforniaWatch: State’s top 100 political donors contribute $1.25 billion

Money & Politics | Spotlight
June 4, 2012 | Coulter Jones and Elizabeth Titus

In a state with nearly 38 million people, few have more influence than the top 100 donors to California campaigns – a powerful club that has donated overwhelmingly to Democrats and spent $1.25 billion to influence voters over the past dozen years.

These big spenders represent a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of individuals and groups that donated to California campaigns from 2001 through 2011. But they supplied about a third of the $3.67 billion lavished on state campaigns during that time, campaign records show.

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The PE: TRIBAL GAMING: Special fund’s days are numbered


Published: 22 April 2012 08:12 PM

SACRAMENTO — Throughout much of the past decade, California’s Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund has been a rare revenue bright spot for Riverside County.

Created by the agreements that legalized gambling on tribal lands, the fund has fostered grants to pay for police officers, medical services and other expenses to offset traffic and other consequences of having casinos nearby.

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InlandPolitics: Speaking of trying to buy an election (UPDATE -1-)

Sunday, February 5, 2012 – 06:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 6, 2012 – 10:55 a.m.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairman James Ramos must be wanting a seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in the worst way.

Since 2010, a whopping $592,000 has been funneled to two Ramos-controlled campaign committees.

By whom you ask?

Indian gambling interests.

An amount making up 82.41% of his total campaign war-chest raised.

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The PE: INLAND: Tribes report $1.2 million in political spending

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which runs a casino near Highland, spent nearly $398,000 on campaign contributions from July through September, newly released records show.


Published: 02 November 2011 01:23 PM

SACRAMENTO – Large gaming tribes from Inland Southern California reported more than $1.2 million in political spending from July through September, according to newly filed state reports.

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The PE: CONGRESS: Bono Mack’s panel grapples with online gambling

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-Palm Springs)


Published: 25 October 2011 09:42 PM

Washington — The U.S. economy is losing billions of dollars annually to unregulated underground and offshore poker websites that can prey on compulsive and underage gamblers with impunity, proponents of legalized Internet gaming argued Tuesday before a House panel.

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The PE: LEGISLATURE: Senate leader says online gaming done until 2012

10:00 PM PDT on Monday, August 22, 2011


PDF: Postponement requested for online gambling legislation in California

SACRAMENTO – The Senate will not consider any online gambling legislation until 2012, the upper house’s top Democrat said Monday, in a setback to two Inland Southern California tribes that have spent the year pushing one of the proposals.

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CaliforniaWatch: American Indian tribes battle over online poker

Daily Report: Money & Politics
August 18, 2011 | Chase Davis

Once again, it’s shaping up to be a case of tribe vs. tribe in the latest effort to encourage politicians to legalize online poker in California.

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InlandPolitics: Former union leader returns to county service

Sunday, July 17, 2011 – 10:35 a.m.

The former head of the San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association (SEBA), who abruptly resigned as president earlier this year and retired last month to accept a position as head of security for Casino Morongo, has apparently returned to county service.

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InlandPolitics: Former sheriff’s union president officially retires

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 – 08:10 a.m.

Well it’s official!

William Abernathie, former president of the San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association (SEBA) has officially retired effective June 30, 2011.

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The PE: Online poker bill backed by Morongo tribe gets urgency

By PE Politics
May 12, 2011 5:48 PM

A bill that would license Internet poker in California failed to meet a key committee deadline last Friday.

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From the Office of Senator Bob Dutton
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SACRAMENTO – An effort by Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) to move California closer to making sure that those who receive welfare use those taxpayer funds as effectively and efficiently as possible was killed by Democrats during a hearing of the Senate Human Services Committee this week.

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CapitolWeekly: Tribes and gaming roundup

By Malcolm Maclachlan | 04/07/11 12:00 AM PST

A growing number of California Indian tribes have opened gas stations, often undercutting local competition by not charging state sales tax.

But the state Board of Equalization may put a kibosh on the practice. In a March 9 legal opinion, BOE tax counsel Carolee Johnstone said that tribes and tribal suppliers must pay most of the taxes in question—something that could quickly take away their competitive advantage.

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The Sun: Action dips at Indian casinos

California fares worse than U.S.
Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/06/2011 07:02:39 AM PST

For the first time, Indian gaming revenue showed a national decline in 2009, according to the annual Indian Gaming Industry Report by Casino City Press.

Nationwide, gaming revenue at Indian casinos declined 1 percent in 2009, and the $3.2 billion in non-gaming revenue – such as food and beverage sales, lodging and entertainment – declined 4 percent from 2008.

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CapitolWeekly: A snapshot of Indian gaming in California

By Malcolm Maclachlan | 03/03/11 12:00 AM PST

After years of continual expansion, Indian gaming revenues in California fell between 2008 and 2009, according to a new report.

Alan Meister, an economist with Nathan Associates Inc., was scheduled to release his annual report Thursday that looks at Indian gaming around the country. Overall, the nationwide industry mirrored that of California, with small revenue decreases the rule around the country.

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The PE: State, tribes at odds on income tax payments

10:51 PM PST on Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – In and out of the courtroom, state tax collectors and some California tribes continue to clash over the income tax liability of tribal members.

Next month, attorneys for the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, which operates the Spotlight 29 casino in Coachella, are scheduled to file paperwork as part of their appeal of a federal judge’s spring 2010 decision. The judge ruled that California can collect state income tax from tribal members who do not live on the reservation.

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The PE: Inland tribes back online gambling

10:02 PM PST on Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Two Inland Southern California tribes with large casinos are pushing legislation to legalize Internet poker in the state, the opening bid in what could be an intense Capitol fight involving tribes who oppose the idea.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Banning and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians near San Bernardino are the leading members of a new group of tribes and card clubs called the California Online Poker Association. It is the sponsor of the bill introduced Monday, the first day of the 2011-12 session.

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LATimes: New round for legalizing Internet poker in California

On politics in the Golden State
December 6, 2010 | 6:26 pm

A lawmaker and a group of California Indian tribes are racing to have the state Legislature consider legalizing Internet poker here before they are preempted by the federal government adopting its own plan.

Sen. Louis Correa (D-Santa Ana) said he introduced Senate Bill 40 on Monday. The measure would allow select tribes and others to run state-sanctioned Internet poker games, with a cut of the action going to state coffers.

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By Malcolm Maclachlan | 10/07/10 12:00 AM PST

Last November, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut failed to make $7 million of a scheduled $21.25 million payment on a $500 million debt. The collateral on the deal was their Foxwoods Resort Casino. If they had been a normal business owner, they would have gone into a default, and creditors could have gone after the casino.

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The PE: Tribes key in backing gubernatorial candidates

10:08 PM PDT on Monday, September 20, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

SACRAMENTO – The last time California changed governors, the final weeks of campaigning were marked by TV ads demanding that tribes with casinos pay “their fair share” to the state.

But as Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown fight to succeed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, their campaigns have offered nothing but warm words for tribes and the state’s politically influential multibillion-dollar tribal gaming industry.

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PE: Morongo tribe organizes internet poker signing ceremony

By PE Politics
on August 16, 2010 11:55 AM

Internet poker remains illegal in California, but an Inland tribe this week will enroll members of a “California Intertribal Intrastate Poker Consortium.”

A signing ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday at the office of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ Sacramento lobbyist. The tribe, which operates a large casino near Banning, has pushed an Internet poker proposal since last summer.

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SacBee: Whitman, Brown seek funds from casino tribes

By Jack Chang
Published: Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

This year, the long road to the governor’s office runs through the high desert reservation of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.

It also stops at the reservations – and casinos – of the Sycuan and Viejas bands of the Kumeyaay Nation east of San Diego.

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RivPE: Internet Gaming: Baca, local tribes oppose legalization

11:14 PM PDT on Friday, July 30, 2010

Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON – A plan to legalize online gambling moved forward this week in the U.S. House of Representatives, raising concerns from an Inland lawmaker and area tribes, who say the legislation would cut into California’s casino business and imperil thousands of jobs around the state.

The legislation, which would allow gamers to make certain kinds of bets legally over the Internet, was approved Wednesday by the Financial Services Committee, clearing the way for a vote on the House floor.

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DailyBulletin: California considers legalizing Internet poker

Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 06/29/2010 09:50:22 PM PDT

Legislation has been introduced that would make California the first state to legalize Internet poker.

But on Tuesday the state Senate Governmental Organization Committee put on hold plans to legalize Internet poker for players 21 years and older until more of the concerns over S.B. 1485 could be addressed.

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issues an executive order requiring recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to meet basic subsistence needs. GOP legislators call for the cash to be returned.

By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times

June 25, 2010

California welfare recipients using state-issued debit cards withdrew more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors between October 2009 and last month, state officials said Thursday.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order requiring welfare recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to “meet the basic subsistence needs” of their families. The order also gave the state Department of Social Services seven days to produce a plan to reduce other types of “waste, fraud and abuse” in the welfare program.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010 – 09:18 P.M.

Based on information contained in a story published in Thursday’s Los Angeles Times, has verified by cross-referencing database lists from the California Department of Social Services and the California Gambling Control Commission that some local indian casinos allow welfare recipients to withdraw cash with state issued debit cards.

Casinos operated by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in Highland, Morongo Band of Mission Indians in Cabazon, Pala Band of Mission Indians in Pala, and the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in Temecula, offer automated teller machines (ATM) that accept debit cards issued by the state’s welfare system.

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By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times

June 24, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento —

California welfare recipients are able to use state-issued debit cards to withdraw cash on gaming floors in more than half of the casinos in the state, a Los Angeles Times review of records found.

The cards, provided by the Department of Social Services to help recipients feed and clothe their families, work in automated teller machines at 32 of 58 tribal casinos and 47 of 90 state-licensed poker rooms, the review found.

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RivPE: Bill on casino distribution fund advances

10:00 PM PDT on Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – An Assembly committee gave quick approval Wednesday to the latest legislative attempt to free up $30 million in tribal casino revenue for Inland communities and other parts of the state.

But it’s unclear whether the proposal to restore what supporters call the “lost year” of casino-mitigation funding will find support where it’s needed most: the Schwarzenegger administration.

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11:45 PM PDT on Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – A candidate who wears glasses, visits the dentist, enjoys tribal casinos and is tight with prison guards and firefighters might be sitting pretty these days in Riverside County’s 37th Senate District.

Dentists, optometrists and other special interests have dumped $900,000 into the campaign leading up to next week’s Senate special election, filling voters’ mailboxes and rolling out television ads.

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RivPE: SD37: Tribal group joins in for Emmerson


By PE Politics
on April 7, 2010 1:16 PM

There’s a new entrant in the crush of independent spending in the race leading up to Tuesday’s election in the 37th Senate District.

The California Tribal Business Alliance reports spending $21,605 for a mailer supporting Assemblyman Bill Emmerson.

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RivPE: Morongo tribe spends big for Bogh in Senate race


By PE Politics
on March 17, 2010 4:22 PM

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Banning has sent out a whopping $93,000 worth of mailers supporting the Senate candidacy of former Assemblyman Russ Bogh.

The independent expenditure mailers, which began arriving at voters’ homes this week, are the first to be bankrolled by any of the region’s politically influential tribes with casinos in the special election for the 37th Senate District. They feature endorsements of Bogh by several Inland political leaders.

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RivPE: Local tribes’ political spending ranks high

10:00 PM PDT on Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

All the many millions that Inland tribes spent during the recent campaign over casino-expansion deals didn’t just win an election.

It also helped put the tribes into the upper echelons of California political spending, surpassing traditional powerhouses such as energy companies, business groups and big tobacco, according to a new study.

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RivPE: Gambling experts question online poker, an idea promoted by Inland tribe

10:00 PM PST on Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Compulsive gambling experts had a ready opinion Thursday on whether California should legalize online poker to raise money along the lines of what an Inland tribe proposes: Bad idea.

California’s first-ever statewide conference on problem gambling drew academics, therapists and government regulators, as well as former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, whose new book “Personal Foul” describes how he bet on basketball games.

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March 12, 2010 | Lance Williams

Gaming Indian tribes have emerged as bigger players in Sacramento than the power companies that dominated California politics for much of the 20th century.

The pharmaceutical lobby’s political spending is nearly triple that of the state chamber of commerce.

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By John Howard | 03/11/10 1:00 AM PST

Of the more than $1.33 billion spent by special interests during the past decade to influence public policy in Sacramento, about three out of every four dollars were spent by an array of groups that included pharmaceutical companies, Indian tribes, petroleum and energy companies, the health care industry, and others.

As a group, spending by public-employee unions –including the California Teachers Association — represented just over a fourth of the total.

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RivPE: Inland tribes rank among biggest spenders

By PE Politics
March 10, 2010 2:09 PM

Some Inland tribes with casinos are among the state’s top political spenders since 2000, according to a new report from the state’s campaign-finance watchdog.

The Fair Political Practices Commission study found that 15 entities altogether spent more than $1 billion on campaigns and Capitol lobbying.

Topping the list was the California Teachers Association ($211,849,298), California State Council of Service Employees ($107,487,272) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ($104,912,997).

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RivPE: Tribal group’s study slams Internet poker

05:45 PM PST on Friday, February 5, 2010

Sacramento Bureau

An influential coalition of tribes with casinos released a report Friday criticizing an Inland tribe’s proposal to legalize internet poker.

Coming just days before a legislative hearing on the subject, the study by former state finance director Mike Genest found that legalizing internet poker in California would cost the state an estimated $365 million annually in lost revenue-sharing payments from tribes that operate casinos.

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February 5, 2010 | 3:23 pm

Just days before state lawmakers convene to discuss legalizing Internet poker in California, a coalition of Indian gaming tribes is bracing to fight the proposal and has hired a former top advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to help make its case.

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CapitolWeekly: Internet poker is point of tribal contention – again

By Malcolm Maclachlan | 01/28/10 12:00 AM PST

The battle over whether California Indian tribes can provide Internet poker is coming back to the Capitol, with many in the gambling industry looking towards a hearing next month. Meanwhile, the tribe behind an effort last year to create a state-sanctioned poker site have apparently renewed their efforts to push a bill.

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