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Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Submits Gaming Compact to State After Passage of Proposition 5.

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 4, 1998--

Palm Springs-Area Tribe One of the First to Submit Gaming Agreement

Proposal After Passage of Historic Indian Gaming Ballot Initiative

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians announced today that it has submitted a new gaming compact to the state of California after last night's overwhelming victory for Proposition 5, the Indian Gaming ballot initiative that permits the continued operation of California's Indian gaming facilities. Proposition 5 establishes a framework for the signing of such gaming compact agreements between California's Indian Tribes and the state of California in order to permit the gaming operations they currently have.

Under Proposition 5, the Governor's office has 30 days to act on the compact submitted this morning. Copies of the compact will subsequently be submitted to the Department of Interior for approval.

"On the day after California's voters so resoundingly voted to support Indian self reliance, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is proud to submit a compact to the state of California and begin the process of securing the economic future of our people," said Richard Milanovich, chairman of the Agua Caliente Tribal Council. "We are extremely grateful that the voters of California have supported the Tribes by voting yes on Prop 5."

Under the terms of the compact submitted this morning, the Agua Caliente would be permitted to continue operating the video and table gaming facilities they already have. Three percent of the revenues generated by gaming activities would be placed in a trust fund for distribution to non-Tribal local government programs for emergency medical needs of all persons over 55 years of age and for other social programs. An additional three percent in revenues would be provided to non-gaming Tribes to be distributed on an equitable basis for education, economic development, cultural preservation, health care and other tribal purposes. Gaming operations would continue to be subject to strict federal gaming and environmental regulations.

"The compact we are submitting today represents one of the first proposed gaming agreements under the new political and legal environment created by the voters' passage of Proposition 5," continued Milanovich.

The revenues generated by gaming have allowed the Agua Caliente Tribe to provide the vital resources needed to fund education, economic development, cultural preservation, housing and health care programs for Tribal members and the local community. Indian gaming has also brought a much needed boost to the economy in Palm Springs and surrounding areas, resulting in more than 2,100 jobs and $33 million in economic impact for the Coachella Valley. Revenues generated by gaming have also allowed the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to make nearly $1 million in donations to local charities, non-profit organizations and the local police and fire departments.

The Agua Caliente tribe has also established an independent gaming commission to oversee and regulate all gaming operations. The Tribe also works closely with local law enforcement agencies and adheres to all the rules and regulations of the National Indian Gaming Commission.

"The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians are committed to operating the Spa Hotel and Casino under the highest standards of integrity and providing an enjoyable entertainment experience for our guests," said Milanovich. "Proposition 5 and the compact we are submitting today will allow us to accomplish these goals and to provide our community economic benefits for years to come."
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Nov 4, 1998
Words:559
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