Cheryl Schmit with the group Stand Up For California said the state needs to pay close attention to the social and economic impacts of casinos when negotiating compacts with tribes, particularly given the potential for more casinos in the state.
“When you have these facilities foisted on the state, those compacts need to include judicially enforceable local agreements,” Schmit said.
The Graton agreement, overall, has “significant” regulations attached to it, including protections for employees and casino patrons, she said.
The tribe, additionally, will contribute $25 million to county parks and open space and has agreed not to develop a casino on any other land it acquires in Marin or Sonoma counties, said Greg Sarris, tribal council chairman.
“What we feel as much as gratitude is profound responsibility to use this opportunity to mold a future not just for our youth and our people, but for non-Indians as well,” he said.
In addition to paying down its debt, the tribe in the short run will put more money into programs that help poor and elderly members, he said.