Signaling a potential increase in deep-pocketed opposition to a proposed Madera tribal casino, the United Auburn Indian Community has given $100,000 to the campaign to defeat Proposition 48.
The Nov. 4 measure is a referendum on a 2013 casino compact between California and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians that allows the Yosemite-area tribe to build a casino off Highway 99 in Madera. A “yes” vote upholds the legislation ratifying the agreement while a “no” vote would overturn it.
From Jan. 1 until earlier this week, all of the money opposing Proposition 48 had come from Table Mountain Rancheria in Friant or Brigade Capital Management, LLC, a New York investment firm with a financial stake in the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino. The $100,00 contribution from the United Auburn tribe, which operates the Thunder Valley casino near Rocklin, is the first from outside the area.
United Auburn and some other large wealthy tribes opposed last year’s North Fork compact, warning that it would set a precedent for tribes to build casinos far from their reservations. Off-reservation critics also cite the compact between the state and the Enterprise Rancheria, which allows the tribe to build a casino in Yuba County.
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The Yes-on-48 campaign has raised $379,000 since January, with all of the money coming from Las Vegas-based Station Casinos, LLC. The firm has the contract to operate the Madera casino.