BAKERSFIELD, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom concurred with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s determination yesterday to allow 320 acres of land to be placed in trust for the Tejon Indian Tribe for the purpose of establishing a Class III gaming facility. The Governor also signed a tribal-state gaming compact with the tribe.
The tribe estimates its proposed gaming facility, which will be located in Kern County approximately four miles from the tribe’s government center, will directly create over 1,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent high-wage jobs, drawing heavily from the local workforce. The project has the support of Kern County, business, labor, and community groups, and various law enforcement and public representatives. The tribe committed, through an agreement with Kern County, to mitigate the impacts of the proposed gaming facility on public services and the surrounding environment.
The compact reflects the Governor’s and tribe’s mutual commitment to a respectful government-to-government relationship, promoting tribal economic development and self-sufficiency, and a strong tribal government. It would allow the tribe to operate up to 3,000 slot machines and affords meaningful protections for employees and patrons. The compact also supports tribal government investment in expanded tribal government services for its members and in local jurisdictions for improved fire and emergency medical services, law enforcement, education, housing, and other service and infrastructure improvements. The compact reflects a commitment by the tribe to ensuring, through the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund and the Tribal Nation Grant Fund, that the economic benefits of gaming extend to all tribal governments in California.
A copy of the Governor’s concurrence letter can be found here and the compact is available here.