Opponents of off-reservation casino measure far outspent supporters
Rival Native American casino interests spent $18 million last year to defeat Proposition 48, which would have given permission for two other tribes to build a new casino near Madera, just north of Fresno, according to records filed by the campaigns.
A separate committee that supported the ballot measure spent $631,000, much of it from the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, which planned to build the new casino near Madera, and the Las Vegas giant Station Casinos Inc., a partner in the project.
The measure was rejected by 61% of voters in the November election.
The campaign that defeated the measure on the November ballot was largely funded by the Table Mountain Rancheria, a Native American group that operates a casino 25 miles east of Madera, and Brigade Capital Management, a New York hedge fund invested in the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in nearby Coarsegold, Calif.
Those interests spent $15.7 million on a campaign that argued that allowing an off-reservation casino would set the stage for more Indian casinos closer to neighborhoods in cities in California.
Another group, including the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, formed a second committee that spent $2.3 million to oppose the ballot measure.
The measure would have given voter approval to a compact approved by the Legislature and governor granting the right to operate a casino with 2,000 slot machines to the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and Northern California’s Wiyot Tribe.