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California Tribes Approved for Off-Reservation Casinos

Could casinos that are tribal up away from Indian reservations in California soon?

Long limited to Native American reservations, tribal-operated gambling enterprises in California appear ready to expand in a way that is big. One off-reservation casino has already been approved, which has a number of other tribes looking at whether they can't move into the rest of the continuing state as well.

Compacts Permit Brand New Sites

The expansion formally started weeks ago, when the continuing State Legislature approved a compact involving the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and Governor Jerry Brown. The tribe was allowed by that compact to construct a casino featuring 2,000 slot machines in Madera County. This is notable because the web site of the casino will be over 30 miles from the lands historically occupied by the tribe the result of the long and ultimately fruitful negotiation between the tribe, other tribes, plus the state federal government.

That move has given other tribes hopes of moving away from their traditional reservations as well. These day there are other tribes looking at casinos in Yuba County, San Bernardino County and Imperial County also.

But there is no guarantee that some of these projects will finally get ahead. Anti-casino groups already are lining up to give voters a chance to block the Mono Indian task, suggesting that voters should have an opportunity to veto the task through a referendum.

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