Player Resources : History of California Gambling

History of California Gambling

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California Indian Casino History

California has 62 Indian Casinos
In 1987 the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians that tribes could operate casinos outside state jurisdiction if the state had not directly prohibited gambling. Today there are 62 Indian casinos in California with more in the planning process.

The following is from the web site of the Office of the Attorney General Bureau of Gambling Control:

Prior to 1998, California's gambling industry was essentially unregulated. In 1984, the Legislature enacted the "Gaming Registration Act," which required the Attorney General's office to provide uniform, minimum regulation of California card rooms. However, the scope of the Attorney General's authority was extremely limited and funding was inadequate. Recognizing the need for broader oversight of California's gambling industry, the Legislature enacted the "Gambling Control Act" (Chapter 867, statutes of 1997).

In March 2000, the voters of California passed Proposition 1A which amended the California Constitution to permit Class III (casino-style) gaming on Indian land, provided that such activities are authorized by a tribal ordinance and conducted in conformity with a gaming compact entered into between the Tribe and the State. The Tribe and the State share a joint interest in ensuring that tribal gaming activities are free from criminal and other undesirable elements. While the Tribe maintains the primary responsibility for on-site regulation of gaming operations, the State is ultimately responsible for ensuring compliance with all aspects of the compact.

The Gambling Control Act (Business and Professions Code section 19800 et seq.) created a comprehensive scheme for statewide regulation of legal gambling under a bifurcated system of administration involving the Division of Gambling Control within the Attorney General's Office and the five-member California Gambling Control Commission appointed by the governor. The commission is authorized to establish minimum regulatory standards for the gambling industry, and ensure that state gambling licenses are not issued to or held by unsuitable or unqualified individuals.

Early in 2007, the Attorney General redefined the Division as a Bureau. The Bureau was positioned within the Department of Justice’s Division of Law Enforcement. Senate Bill 82, which was chaptered August 24, 2007, made changes to statute relating to the Division of Gambling Control, thus allowing the change to “Bureau of Gambling Control”.

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