|Nevada Style Gambling
At Casino San Pablo
March 8, 2001
A major controversy is raging around the prospect for Nevada-style gambling at Casino San Pablo, and the opponents are trying to make it a political issue in Richmond. The facts are complex and even arcane, but the essentials, as I understand them, are:
* Casino San Pablo has been purchased by the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians
* California Proposition 1A endorsed the right of Native Americans to have gaming on reservations to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
* The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians were landless, but recent legislation authored by Representative George Miller allowed the tribe to acquire the land in San Pablo. Miller did so at the request of the Lytton Band and the unanimous request of the City Council of the City of San Pablo.
* The purchase was approved by the San Pablo City Council and endorsed by the West Contra Costa Mayors and Supervisors Association. There is some dispute whether or not the latter understood that the current card operation would be expanded to Nevada-style gambling.
* Some or all economic interests that stand to lose business, including possibly competing card clubs, racetracks, Nevada gambling interests, and other Indian casinos have mounted a public relations battle against the plan of the Lytton Band to open Nevada-style gambling in San Pablo. Joining the effort as political and public relations consultants for the opponents are Staples Associates (888/696-3300), Mark Capitola and Evans-McDonough (former Councilmember Alex Evans) at 510/559-1776.
* It is difficult to sort out the organized opposition of special interests from the legitimate interests of individuals with objections based on moral or practical bases.
* Mayor Corbin became a spokesperson against Nevada-style gambling at Casino San Pablo and has starred in an anti-casino ad being aired on Bay Area TV stations. She has stated that she is against Nevada-style gambling at Casino San Pablo because only the City of San Pablo will benefit economically and Richmond neighborhoods will be adversely impacted.
* There are efforts to get the Richmond City Council to take a stand.
* Apparently Gov. Davis has the last word on this.