Riverside County, tribe reach agreement for new casino

Ramona band of Cahuilla Indians tribal territory is centered east of Hemet

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Riverside County supervisors today approved an agreement with the Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians securing guarantees about  what steps the tribe will take to counteract the impact of future gambling  operations.

The Ramona band, whose tribal territory is centered east of Hemet, is  negotiating with the state on a compact to permit Class III gaming activities  defined by the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Class III operations include slots, card games and other casino-style  gambling.

A half-dozen tribes in Riverside County operate casinos.

Supervisor Jeff Stone, in whose district the Ramona tribe's operation is  proposed, introduced a memorandum of understanding endorsing the band's  gaming plan and conceptually identifying what it would need to do to help the  county mitigate any negative impacts to the "off-reservation environment."

The memorandum states there are "economic, environmental, social,  technological (and) other considerations."

According to the document, the county would expect the tribe to  "compensate for law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical services  and other public services ... provided by the county to the tribe as a  consequence of the gaming activities."

A framework would have to be established defining how reimbursement  would be made, according to the memorandum.

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