Gov. Brown and Quechan Tribe sign new compact


WINTERHAVEN – Governor Edmund G. Brown and the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe signed a new Tribal-State Gaming Compact between the tribe and the State of California.

“The Quechan Indian Tribe is grateful to Governor Brown for making this agreement possible,” said President Keeny Escalanti, the elected leader of the tribe, in a press release. “This new Compact reflects the Tribe’s commitment to the State of California, our local community, and the non-gaming and limited gaming California tribes.”

The release said the terms of the new compact reduce the tribe’s revenue-sharing obligations by approximately four million dollars ($4,000,000) per year, and simultaneously increase the tribe’s ability to generate revenue through its gaming operations by providing the right to operate additional gaming facilities and gaming devices.

Previously, the tribe’s Quechan Casino, located in Winterhaven, operated under the 2006 Compact Amendment, signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The 2006 Compact Amendment contained onerous revenue contribution provisions that reportedly deprived the tribe of infrastructure investment opportunities.

The new compact reportedly alleviates the financial hardship the tribe experienced under the 2006 Compact Amendment and is in line with the longstanding federal principle of promoting tribal economic development and self-sufficiency, the tribe reported in their press release.

“The Tribe is pleased to move forward under the favorable terms of the new Compact to more adequately provide for the Tribe while continuing to foster a mutually beneficial relationship with the State of California and our local community,” said Escalanti. The tribe’s Senior Center and Wellness Center are just two examples of the benefits yielded by the tribe’s gaming operations, the release said.

“The Tribe’s savings under the new Compact will allow the Tribe to provide critical services to its Members, including education, healthcare, and housing services,” continued Escalanti in the release. “In addition, the Tribe can now invest directly in the city of Winterhaven and the surrounding communities, providing added benefits to both Members and non-native residents.”