Three California tribal casinos have vowed to appeal the US District Court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit calling for the shut down of lawful cardroom games like blackjack and baccarat on the basis that they violate tribal exclusivity.
The three tribes – the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation – accused the state of violating the tribes’ gaming compacts.
The tribes issued a statement saying the ruling was “simply a procedural finding by the court that it lacked the power to require the state to enforce the law under the tribes’ compacts.” The tribes believe the court’s point was that the compacts “are not the vehicle under which the tribes can force the state to enforce the law.”
However, the tribes believe the US District Court was “incorrect in concluding the compacts did not provide a basis to compel the state to enforce the law,” and pointed out that the state itself “does not dispute the merits of the case,” even if the state “is doing either little or nothing to stop the cardrooms’ unlawful conduct.”
The lawsuit in question, which was filed against the State of California and Governor Newsom, was dismissed on the basis that the tribes’ compacts did not give them the exclusive rights to these games in California according to the District Court.
Prior to the case, four California Court of Appeal decisions have found that the cardrooms are permitted to operate non-banked versions of the games and have done so with specific approval of the Attorney General.