Federal law requires states to negotiate a gaming compact with tribal governments to govern class III gaming activities on Indian lands. The compacts, which in California are negotiated by the Governor and ratified by the Legislature, are subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.
Of the 107 federally recognized tribes in California, roughly 70 have gaming compacts with the State. Most California compacts since 2004 contain revenue sharing provisions non-gaming tribes, licensing and gaming regulations, and substantial protections for employees, patrons, and the environment.
In August 2012, Governor Brown signed a gaming compact for the proposed casino resort, which represented a significant step forward in the Tribe’s dream of self-sufficiency and a better life for our children and grandchildren.
The North Fork compact is paired with the related Wiyot Tribe compact and is unique in that it serves the economic and environmental interests of two tribes, two local communities and the State of California. Under the compacts, the North Fork Rancheria will pay a percentage of its revenues from the resort casino in Madera to a special revenue sharing trust fund created for the Wiyot Tribe and administered by the State. The compact also provides funds for other non-gaming tribes throughout the State of California.
In exchange for payments from this trust fund, the Wiyot Tribe has agreed not to engage in gaming on its environmentally sensitive lands along Humboldt Bay. Thus, the compacts prevent the construction of gaming facilities on environmentally sensitive lands in the Madera County foothills and the North Coast of California through the establishment of a single gaming facility located in an environmentally appropriate location that enjoys the support of the local community.
The compacts, which are similar to other recently ratified compacts, must still be submitted to and approved by the State Legislature.