Friday, March 16, 2018

Expansion On Hold?

Lot's of rumors floating around.

Can anyone verify?

I am hearing the expansion is now on hold.  Where is the money?  Was the loan secured?  Or did Pala (aka Robert) never even get the loan in the first place?

I am also hearing more per cap cuts are coming.

Seems there is a ton of tribal administration that could get cut before tribal members should be forced to take a cut.

How much longer will everyone keep voting in the same people only to watch the casino go down the tubes?

Looks like Pechanga is eating everyone's lunch including Robert's.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Pala Casino In The News

LINK:  Is San Diego's casino industry over-saturated?

By Michele Parente

Also on Tuesday, Pala Casino Spa & Resort confirmed an unspecified number of layoffs, citing facility closures prompted by a $170 million expansion and remodeling as well as economic pressures from “an increasingly competitive Southern California casino resort market.”

Including Pechanga and Pala, a total of six local casinos have been undergoing expansions, with Barona Resort & Casino, Sycuan Casino, Valley View Casino & Hotel and Viejas Casino & Resort adding hotels, restaurants, spas, casino space and hundreds of thousands of square footage to their properties.

Longtime Las Vegas-based Indian gaming expert Dave Palermo said he’s not surprised that San Diego’s current casino building-boom bubble could be bursting for some.

“It’s extremely crowded there,” Palermo said. “It’s extremely competitive.”

“Those expansion projects are more indicative of the increasing competition among the casinos themselves rather than the economy. They’re trying to keep pace with the rest of the operators rather than expand their market share.”

Please click the link above to read the full article.  It is very informative.   Every tribal member should read it.

Condolences to the Freeman Family, God Speed Nikki.  You are loved.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Old Pala

There's an Old Pala that has existed probably long before there was even a Pala but that's another story.  There were and still are indigenous people living around Old Pala.  They are called Luiseno. They were Mission Indians under the jurisdiction of the San Luis Rey Mission.  They are a band of Luiseno.  There are many Luiseno bands around Southern California.  Many people at Pala have a mix of Luiseno blood.  The Luiseno reservations are Soboba, Pechanga, Pala, Pauma, and Rincon.

In 1852 the Pala Luiseno singed a treaty with the U.S. Government.  They were granted a reservation in 1875.  In 1895 some Pala Luiseno were allotted land.  This land was and continues to be recorded separately as part of the Old Pala Reservation.

There is another Tribe of indians called the Agua Caliente Cupeno.  These were not Mission Indians.  By all accounts they were hard working self sufficient people.  The traditional homeland of the Cupeno is the village at Kupa also known as Warner's Hot Springs and before that Agua Caliente.

The Agua Caliente Cupeno continued to reside on their ancestral homeland until 1903 when due to a Supreme Court ruling the Cupeno were forced off their land.  The U.S. Government in all its wisdom decided purchasing land right next to the Old Pala Luiseno Reservation was a good idea.  There were other tracts of lands considered such as Monserate but in the end the old Salmons Ranch was purchased for the Cupeno.

There was a provision in the law that said something like the land was purchased for the Agua Caliente Cupeno (Warner Ranch Evictees) and other landless indians that had no home.  This created sort of a land grab as people just showed up at Pala.

In May of 1903 several villages around Kupa were moved to Pala.  In October of 1903 another tribe was forced to move to Pala.  These were the San Felipe Indians, Iipay or Digueno.  This was a separate lawsuit and separate removal.

One Cupeno legend is of Kisily Pewish.  His mother was Luiseno from Soboba and Father was Cupeno.  One day the "Southerners" or Digueno massacred everyone at the Village of Kupa except for Kisily Pewish and his Mother.  They went back to Soboba where, just to short hand the story, Kisily grew up and retook Kupa from the Southerners by killing them all with the help of his magical bear and his mother.

So, the BIA in its infinite wisdom decided putting the Agua Caliente Cupeno next to the Pala Luiseno and then mixing in Iipay was a good idea.

Initially the BIA tried accounting for all the Indians separately.  There are Luiseno, San Felipe, Cupeno, Cahuilla, and Yaqui all at Pala as well as some others.  But as time went on to make administration easier on themselves the BIA just tried to say everyone was Pala.  But tensions always arose and continue to this day among the different tribes and bands at Pala.

The Agua Caliente Cupeno historically have governed themselves through Custom and Tradition through Family Relationships.  This continues to this day.  However, in the 1960's the BIA forced the indians at Pala to abandon any official relationship with their blood lines and tried to merge all the blood into one calling it "Pala Blood" or blood of the band.  This was an association of bands and tribes and not one tribe.

The problem with this, and the BIA knows it, is that it is against the law for one tribe to determine the membership of another (see Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez).  This is precisely what is going on at Pala to this day.  We have non-Cupenos deciding who are members.  They are even changing blood degrees against the recommendations of the U.S. Government.  What gives them a right to change anyone's blood degree?

Further, in the 1960's, the Cupeno at Pala knew there were several tribes at Pala.  Thus they pushed to be included in Enrollment Ordinance No. 1 a provision not allowing tribal members to belong to more than one tribe.  See below Section 1c.

Click to Enlarge

The Agua Caliente Cupeno have always pushed for Kupa blood to be counted and the BIA has always denied it.  Now, the BIA has changed the name of the Old Pala Luiseno to the Pala Band of Mission Indians illegally.  That means technically Pala is now a 132 acre reservation with 800 acres of grazing rights all the rest belonging to the Agua Caliente Cupeno as well as other Warner Ranch Evictees.  But for whatever reason the BIA does not see it that way.  Go figure.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


I was sent an article for consideration and asked if I would post it to the blog.  I decided I would.

The views, facts, and opinions expressed in the article below are strictly the views of  the [ANONYMOUS] author.  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the [ANONYMOUS]  author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pala Watch.


*** By Anonymous ***

     On January 5, 1852, the United States took over California from the Spaniards and the
Temecula Treaty was signed by Indians in Southern California creating a government to
government relationship.

     The Treaty was signed separately by Palino Coo-hac-ish (for Old Pala) and Jose Noca
Chan-gah-lang-ish (for Agua Caliente).

     On December 27, 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant created, by executive order, 320
acres, located on the south side of the San Luis Rey River, for a reservation for the Old Pala
Luiseno tribe. At the same time he also created 960 acres for a reservation in Warner Springs for
the Agua Caliente tribe. This would become their ancestral homeland. Both reservations were
intended for permanent use and occupancy.


     Between 1891 and 1895, Old Pala made/gave allotments to its 15 adult members. Their
children were never allotted land but were still considered members of Old Pala.

     Old Pala is referred to as the Luiseno Band of Mission Indians. The Luiseno Band is
NOT a tribe. This name only recognizes them as Indians in the San Luis Rey Mission District.
They may be a band from the Kumeyaay.

     Old Pala is a reservation that never had any form of government or a tribal committee.
Robert Ardilla would act as Captain or Spokesman.

     After the 1903 arrival of Agua Caliente (Cupa) to the Pala Valley, many problems arose
between them and Old Pala.

     Shortly after their (Agua Caliente) arrival there was a death within their tribe. Old Pala
would not allow Agua Caliente (Cupa) to bury the dead in the cemetery next to the Old Pala
Mission. This prompted the Agua Caliente (Cupa) tribe to create their own cemetery called the
Cupa Cemetery.

     Another problem arose when members from Old Pala would deliberately let their
livestock destroy the crops of the Agua Caliente (Cupa) tribe. There was also an irrigation
schedule which allowed a specified amount oftime and water to be given to each crop grower.
Members from Old Pala would open the water valves at any time. This would limit the water
given to next crop grower cutting their time/water short and created a domino effect down the

     In 1934, a secretarial election was held in Pala Valley with the purpose of joining Old
Pala and Agua Caliente (Cupa). This was voted down by both sides, leaving each one
independent from the other.

     In a letter to the BIA, dated March 4, 1940, Marion Scott requested to become a member
of the Rincon Reservation. She was denied because of her membership to Old Pala.
Sometime in the late 1940's or early l 950's, she (Marion Scott) requested to be enrolled
in the Agua Caliente (Cupa) rolls. The Cupa members did not want to let her in. But, after the
third request she was voted in, along with her whole family which would include Robert Ardilla.

     This should have never taken place and it was wrong for the Chairman to allow it. There
was no way for Marion to show she was a direct descendant of Cupa (Agua Caliente) and
according to the Articles of Association (for Agua Caliente) this was a requirement to be enrolled.

     BIA records from March 7, 1940 show that Marion Scott is an enrolled from Old Pala.
Since members cannot be enrolled in two different places does this mean she and Robert Ardilla
must relinquish their allotments to the Agua Caliente (Cupa) tribe? And, if so, would Agua
Caliente (Cupa) then have complete control of their allotments?


     On January 5, 1852, Jose Noca Chan-gah-lang-ish signed the Temecula Treaty. This created a
government to government relationship between the Agua Caliente (Cupa) Tribe and the United States.

     On December 27, 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant created, by executive order, 960 acres for a
reservation for the Agua Caliente tribe to live on as their ancestral homeland.

     Long before their removal to Pala, the Agua Caliente (Cupa) people have existed since prehistory
as an historic tribe and are not Mission Indians. They occupied their traditional homeland at Warner
Springs since the time of their creation.

     Five years after President Grant set aside their reservation lands at Warner Springs, President
Rutherford B. Hayes revoked this. This land revocation lead to the removal from Warner's Ranch.

     There were many sites considered when deciding where to send the Agua Caliente (Cupa) tribe: Rancho Santa Margarita (Camp Pendleton), Panky Ranch and Pala. Because Pala had a mission and the Agua Caliente Tribe had a small chapel near Warner's, Pala Valley was chosen.

     Over 700 acres were purchased from ranchers in the Pala Valley for the removal and placement
of the Agua Caliente tribe.

     When the Agua Caliente (Cupa) tribe arrived in Pala in 1903 they were put in tents until the prefabricated homes would arrive. These homes came from New York, traveling around the Cape to San Diego and eventually make their way by wagon to Pala.

     Pala was set up like the village at Warner Springs. The head of each household was given an allotment for a home, 1.75-2 acres on the irrigation system, and 5-6 acres of land for dry farming.

     One question arises: Why did their (Agua Caliente) tribal name not come with them? They
became referred to as Pala Band, Pala Band of Mission Indians or Pala Band of Luiseno Indians.

     Why are we referred to as Pala Band of Mission Indians (PBMI)? If Robert Smith can make this
change, why not change it to Agua Caliente Indian Reservation like it was when they were moved from Warners? And furthermore, why is Robert being referred to as Chairman of the Luiseno Band of Mission Indians? He has no authority to be their spokesman.

     Remember, Agua Caliente was a recognized tribe, not a band. How do they lose their tribal name
simply from moving from one location to another? If it's that simple to rename the tribe PBMI it should be just as simple to give them their correct name back. Pala Band of Mission Indians is not a tribe.

     About two weeks after Agua Caliente's arrival, the people from Puerta la Cruz and San Felipe,
who had originally refused to leave the Warner Springs area, were moved to Pala by way of horse and
wagon owned by Remijio Lugo.

     Remijio Lugo was also put on the Cupa rolls. This would also be a mistake. He claims he was
born in Sulfer Springs, Cahuilla and is a member of Morongo. He would also not be able to show his
direct descent from Agua Caliente (Cupa), which is a requirement for enrollment with them.

     This brief history explains why we all hear that this family or that family do not belong on the

     There are many members that serve the tribe that need to understand their history. It may upset a
lot of people but it is something that should be known.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pala Interactive's Jim Ryan Gushes For The Reporters

I would expect that there would be a large Christmas Bonus for Tribal Members since Pala Interactive is doing so well.  Thank you Jim Ryan.  I bet the tribal members of Pala are enjoying the tremendous benefit Pala Interactive is bringing to their lives.

Link to Article:




PNJ: recently celebrated three years in New Jersey’s regulated online gaming space. How would you assess Pala’s performance over those three years?

Jim Ryan: We are proud of our performance. Why I say that is because we entered the market a year after it opened without a brand and without a player database. To any onlooker, we were seen as an underdog.

However, we have quietly built our business and continued to improve our platform and add new games. We have been largely focused on our casino business and the casino offering has upwards of 300 games today. We were only one of two operators to introduce a bingo product and we offer bingo three times a week.

We have a very loyal customer base that comes and plays bingo but, equally importantly, that same customer base enjoys our casino games, so it is a growth driver. With the launch of our poker product in June, we are the only operator in the marketplace that has got casino, bingo and poker.

Equally with poker, which although has very small liquidity, it is already breaking even for us. So, in terms of overall performance, we have come from nowhere and while we certainly aren’t the biggest, we are far from the smallest operator. And in that respect, we are proud of those accomplishments.

PNJ: What about your performance in terms of revenue?

JR: We generally haven’t quoted the size of our business, but we do over $600,000 a month in revenue and we are continuing to grow at a reasonable pace.
Read The Full Article At The Link Above

Potentially up to $100 Million of allegedly borrowed money was invested by "The Tribe" aka Robert Smith.  3 years later the ROI is $600K per month.  What would it be if the money was just put in a savings account?