Santa Ynez groups allege Chumash violated casino compact

Santa Ynez, California (AP) 9-07

Two anti-gambling groups accused the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians of violating the state gaming compact.

Representatives of the two groups, Preservation of Los Olivos and Preservation of Santa Ynez, said they want Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to enforce the terms of the Chumash casino pact.

The groups claim the tribe violated the agreement with the state by using gambling profits to buy and operate off-reservation properties to expand the Chumash gambling business.

Earlier this year, the tribe bought Solvang's largest hotel, the Royal Scandinavian Inn, and it is converting the former Federico's restaurant in Buellton into office space.

“It is becoming increasing clear that there is no will to enforce the compacts because the largely unregulated multibillion dollar Indian casino gambling industry is controlling our elected officials,” Los Olivos preservation group spokeswoman Kathryn Bowen said in a statement released Septmeber 6th.

The groups filed a complaint earlier with the California Gambling Control Commission asking for an investigation, but the commission determined there had been no violations of the compact.

“We have responded to the off-reservation property question on many occasions and so has the California Gambling Control Commission, but apparently the POLO/POSY members will continue to search through the corners of the earth until they get an answer that they want to hear. I assume they will be searching into eternity,” tribal attorney Sam Cohen said.