The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Proposition 68 creates controversy among Californians

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series that will be focusing on the 2004 elections.

Proposition 68 has become a much-debated measure on the upcoming ballot that deals with taxing Indian casinos.

The proposition is officially titled “Non-tribal commercial gambling expansion. Tribal Gaming Compact Amendments. Revenues, tax exemptions. Initiative constitutional amendment and statute.”

If the proposition passes, there are two scenarios that can unfold.

First, according to the attorney general, gaming tribes would be charged 25 percent of slot machine/gaming device revenues with the money being placed into a special fund, the Indian Gaming Revenue Trust Fund.

The tribes have 90 days after the passage of the measure to reach an agreement with the governor.

“The bulk of the funds would be distributed to local governments throughout the state for additional child protective, police and firefighting services,” the California state voter’s guide states.

Slot machines reach L.A.

If an agreement between the governor and the tribes is not reached, then 30,000 slot machines will be allowed in 16 specified race tracks or card rooms.

Some of the locations close to EC include Hollywood Park Racetrack and Casino, Inglewood; Normandie Casino, Gardena; Hustler Casino, Gardena; and four other locations in L.A. County.

Proponents for the proposition say that the fund will help generate money for services that protect and serve the public.

Yes on 68 advocates also say that if tribes use public safety, funded by taxpayers, it’s time for the tribes to pay for the services they enjoy.

“The 25 percent fair share of their winnings would go to pay for local police and fire services and local programs for abused, neglected and foster children,” the state voter guide states.

The proposition has some tough competition with a long list of people and agencies against Proposition 68.

“This proposition is not really for casinos. It’s for California,” Karlo Deza, casino manager at Normandie Casino, said. “Right now, the Indian casinos pay 5.6 percent; it is time for them to pay their fair share.”

Governor opposes proposition

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, more than 50 California Indian tribes, 34 county sheriffs, numerous politicians, and dozens of state organizations are against Proposition 68, according to the secretary of state.

“I am officially opposed to Proposition 68, and I strongly urge you to vote no,” Schwarzenegger said.

Gambling in residential areas

The large group of people against 68 believe that the increase in gambling will lead to “Vegas-like casinos” in neighborhoods all over the state.

“Prop.68 would place huge new casinos on non-Indian lands in our cities and suburbs with 30,000 new slot machines near more than 200 schools,” the state voter guide states.

“This was not brought up for casinos to get slot machines; it was brought up for the Indians,” Deza said.

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