The California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) now has 41 members following last week’s addition of the federally-recognized Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians and Tejon Indian Tribe.
The Sacramento-headquartered organization used an official Monday press release to detail that the latter tribe has joined its ranks for the first time while the move from the preceding pair represents something of a reunion following their earlier exits. The group also explained that the additions have seen the trio follow the examples previously set by such California tribal gaming heavyweights as the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians.
Established in 1988, the CNIGA markets itself as the ‘the largest regional tribal gaming association in the United States’ with the stated aim ‘of preserving and protecting Indian gaming on federally-recognized Indian lands.’ The body proclaimed that its membership, which moreover encompasses the Tachi Yokut Tribe, the Berry Creek Rancheria of Tyme Maidu and the Wilton Rancheria, consists ‘solely of federally-recognized tribal governments and associate members’ with a dedication ‘to the tribal government gaming industry.’
The CNIGA, which furthermore counts the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians among its ranks, additionally pronounced that it acts ‘as a planning and coordinating agency’ to aid its membership’s varied ‘legislative, policy, legal and communications efforts’ while simultaneously serving ‘as an industry forum for information and resources,’
James Siva from the casino-operating Morongo Band of Mission Indians serves as the Chairman for the CNIGA and he used the press release to disclose that the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians is headquartered in San Diego County where it runs the 237-room Viejas Casino and Resort. He went on to divulge that Riverside County’s Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians runs the small Augustine Casino while the Tejon Indian Tribe is soon hoping to premiere its new $600 million Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tejon in central Kern County.
Read a statement from Siva…
“We are incredibly pleased and honored to bring more tribal governments into this great organization. Tribal governments need a strong and unified voice on gaming issues and the CNIGA provides a forum for tribal voices to be heard in the halls of power. Each tribe brings a unique perspective, therefore bringing greater knowledge to the whole.”
The news domain at iGBNorthAmerica.com used its own report on the matter to describe the CNIGA as ‘an opponent of moves to expand gambling across California in recent years’ in preference to advocating for the ‘exclusive right’ of its membership ‘to operate casino-style games in the state.’ The site clarified that aggregated tribal gross gaming revenues in the United States rose by 2.5% year-on-year in 2019 to a record $34.6 billion with operations in the region encompassing California and northern Nevada posting a commanding 4.3% combined rise to $9.7 billion.