Although not tacitly approved by agency action, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has let five California tribal/state gaming compacts take effect with no action to approve or deny the agreements. According to tribal gaming website Indianz.com, the BIA has 45 days in order to review a compact before ratifying or rejecting it under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

However, when the 45-day window closes without the agency rejecting a compact, even though it may have certain concerns, the agreement takes effect but is only legal as far as the compact’s provisions are consistent with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Agreements with the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, Jamul Indian Village, Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians, Barona Band of Mission Indians, and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation became provisionally valid as of December 5, according to the Federal Register. All of the tribes currently have casinos except the Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians whose proposed Buena Vue Casino (pictured above) was approved in June for Class III gaming.

No further public information is currently available as to which provisions in any of the compacts may have given the agency pause to approve them in toto.

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