Sunday, November 10

Battle Royale: Indian Casinos And Corruption (LA Times; user name: "osla"; password: "iswatching"): "The battle for control of the Buena Vista showcases the turmoil spawned by California's Proposition 1A. Approved by voters in 2000, the measure granted a monopoly on casino gambling to the state's federally recognized tribes. California is home to 108 tribes, one-fifth of the nation's total. An additional 54 have applied for federal recognition. ... The race for market share is fierce. California has capped the number of slot machines at 52,000. Fifty-two casinos already are operating with more than 40,000 slots. ... Many of the tribes are tiny -- some with fewer than a dozen members. ... For insiders, that means few to share the spoils. For outsiders, "small tribes are easier to control," said Cheryl Schmitt, director of Stand Up for California, a gambling watchdog group. ... Tribal casinos brought in $12 billion in revenue nationally last year. They donated nearly $4 million to national parties, and their candidates so far this election cycle and paid out $15.6 million for federal lobbying ..."