California Government Code

Sec. § 98001


The people of the State of California find that, historically, Indian tribes within the state have long suffered from high rates of unemployment and inadequate educational, housing, elderly care, and health care opportunities, while typically being located on lands that are not conducive to economic development in order to meet those needs. Federal law provides a statutory basis for conducting licensed and regulated tribal government gaming on, and limited to, qualified Indian lands, as a means of strengthening tribal self-sufficiency through the creation of jobs and tribal economic development. Federal law also provides that certain forms of gaming, known as “class III gaming,” will be the subject of an agreement between a tribe and the state (a “Tribal-State compact”), pursuant to which that gaming will be governed.


The people of the state find that uncertainties have developed over various issues concerning class III gaming and the development of Tribal-State compacts between the state and tribes, and that those uncertainties have led to delays and considerable expense. The Tribal-State compact terms set forth in Section 98004 (the “Gaming Compact”), including the geographic confinement of that gaming to certain tribal lands, the agreement and limitations on the kinds of class III gaming in which a tribe operating thereunder may be engaged, and the regulation and licensing required thereunder, are intended to resolve those uncertainties in an efficient and cost-effective way, while meeting the basic and mutual needs of the state and the tribes without undue delay. The resolution of uncertainty regarding class III gaming in California, the generation of employment and tribal economic development that will result therefrom, and the limitations on the growth of gaming in California that are inherent therein, are in the best and immediate interest of all citizens of the state. This chapter has been enacted as a matter of public policy and in recognition that it fulfills important state needs. All of the factors the state could consider in negotiating a Tribal-State compact under federal law have been taken into account in offering to tribes the terms set forth in the Gaming Compact.


The people of the state further find that casinos of the type currently operating in Nevada and New Jersey are materially different from the tribal gaming facilities authorized under this chapter, including those in which the gaming activities under the Gaming Compact are conducted, in that the casinos in those states (1) commonly offer their patrons a broad spectrum of house-banked games, including but not limited to house-banked card games, roulette, dice games, and slot machines that dispense coins or currency, none of which games are authorized under this chapter; and (2) are owned by private companies, individuals, or others that are not restricted on how their profits may be expended, whereas tribal governments must be the primary beneficiaries of the gaming facilities under this chapter and the Gaming Compact, and are limited to using their gaming revenues for various tribal purposes, including tribal government services and programs such as those that address reservation housing, elderly care, education, economic development, health care, and other tribal programs and needs, in conformity with federal law.

Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016