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CTBA Political eBrief Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"This is… a harsh slap in the face to California Indian tribes." Leslie Lohse, chairwoman of the California Tribal Business Alliance on SB 1463 (Los Angeles Times)

California Offered Piece Of The Action From Internet Poker (CA – Online Gaming)
Los Angeles Times (May 15, 2012) Casino operators lobby hard for legalization by the state. Co-sponsors of a state legalization bill hope it could raise hundreds of millions for the budget-battered state.

Committee Approves Allocations For Casino Mitigation Funds (CA – Indian Gaming Funds)
Lake County Record Bee (May 14, 2012) County, city and tribal representatives met Monday morning to discuss applications for Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund money.

Artifact Finds Slow Genesis Project (CA – Genesis Solar Project)
My Desert (May 15, 2012) Work has been halted on approximately 100 acres of the 1,800-acre Genesis solar project between Desert Center and Blythe, following the discovery of “widely dispersed artifacts,” many of which may date to before A.D. 1000, according to the federal Bureau of Land Management.

Protest At Pattern Energy Tuesday In La Jolla (CA – Ocotillo Wind Project)
East County Magazine (May 14, 2012) A coalition of environmentalists, tribes, and residents opposed to the Ocotillo Express industrial wind facility will hold a news conference Tuesday, May 15 at 2 p.m. in front of the La Jolla offices of developer Pattern Energy to explain to the public why they cannot accept Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to approve the project--and why they will continue their opposition. 

California State Assembly Approves Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria’s Controversial Casino Compact (CA – Graton Rancheria)
Indian Country Today (May 14, 2012) On May 10, the California State Assembly ratified the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria’s compact for the tribe’s proposed 3,000-slot machine and card games casino adjacent to Rohnert Park in Sonoma County in a 64-3 vote, reported NBC Bay Area. Gov. Jerry Brown inked the agreement on March 27.

Rushing For Online Poker Spoils, Some US Firms Tie Up With Partners With A Past (US – Online Gaming)

MSNBC (May 14, 2012) To prime itself for the U.S. debut of legal online poker, MGM Resorts International, owner of such Las Vegas Strip monuments as the MGM Grand, the Bellagio and the Mirage, wanted a partner that knew the ropes.

Nevada Online Poker in 7-10 Months, Regulator Says (NV – Online Gaming)
Card Player (May 14, 2012) Americans could see the first U.S.-based licensed and regulated real-money poker site this holiday season.

Tribal Donations Increase To President Obama's Campaign (US – Campaign Contributions)
USA Today (May 14, 2012) President Obama has gone to bat for Indian tribes like few presidents before him.

Ho-Chunk Inc. Finalizes Purchase of Atokad Downs Horse Racing Track (NE – Off Reservation Gaming)
Indian Country Today (May 14, 2012) Ho-Chunk, Inc., the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s economic development corporation, announced May 7 it has completed its purchase of Atokad Downs, the pari-mutuel thoroughbred race track in South Sioux City, Nebraska, from the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, reported the Sioux City Journal.

Silver Legacy Debt Discussion 'Positive’ (NV – Silver Legacy)
Reno Gazette Journal (May 14, 2012) Operators of the Silver Legacy Resort Casino said Monday talks are progressing with bond holders on a restructuring plan for the property’s $142.8 million mortgage debt.

Racinos Off The Table As Minnesota Tribes Score Lobbying Win (MN – Vikings Stadium)
Gambling Compliance (May 15, 2012) SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED Minnesota’s modest gambling expansion is a victory for the state’s long-established tribal casinos, who managed to blunt what could have been a devastating competitive threat.

Internet Cafe: What's Difference Between Skill Vs Sweepstakes? (OH – Internet Cafes)
Canton Rep (May 14, 2012) Canton officials and the public may not see much of a difference between skill games and sweepstakes games. But according to the attorney general’s office, the two are not the same.

IRS Consults with Tribal Leaders on Welfare Exclusion (US – Tribal Welfare)
Accounting Today (May 14, 2012) The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Monday they plan to hold a listening session with Native American tribal leaders to consult with them on the application of the general welfare exclusion to benefits provided under Indian tribal government programs.