Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians Investigates Potential Embezzlement of Funds

KRCR News - Tribe investigates misappropriation of funds

By Vienna Montague, Producer

Redding, CA - The Nomlaki Indian Tribe, also owners of Rolling Hills Casino, have suspended tribal members found guilty of embezzling more than $1 million.

Chairman Andy Freeman of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, owner of Rolling Hills Casino in Corning said the theft and misappropriation of tribal funds were carried out by certain members of the Henthorne/Pata family.

The Henthorne/Pata family was suspended by a quorum of the Tribe’s General Council on April 12.

Chairman Freeman and other administrators met with the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office, Tehama County District Attorney, Corning Police Department and other officials to review the findings.

Read More Here - KRCR News - Tribe investigates misappropriation of funds

Other Related News:

Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians Tribal Council investigation reveals misappropriation of over $1 million of tribal funds by suspended members of Henthorne/Pata Family

From the above article:

Chairman Freeman stated, "The Tribe's General Council has taken decisive actions against those who have stolen and misappropriated tribal assets and will pursue all legal avenues for restitution."

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pala, Bill Horn, and Gregory Canyon

San Diego Reader - Pala Indians battle against Bill Horn - Gambling tribe fighting nearby trash dump has spent secretly in past

By Matt Potter, April 25, 2014

It's a strange-bedfellows tale of trash and casino chips.
The Pala Band of Mission Indians and their affiliated entity Pala Casino came up with $20,000 on April 23 for a campaign committee calling itself Citizens Against Career Inside Politician Bill Horn for Supervisor 2014, run by Service Employees International Union Local 221, representing county workers. Horn is running against Oceanside mayor and fellow Republican Jim Wood.
This isn't the first financial foray by the tribe into county politics, motivated by its number-one land-use cause: halting the Gregory Canyon solid waste facility, a massive landfill being developed by San Diego lobbyist Nancy Chase, widow of project originator Richard Chase.
In November 2012, a group called USA PAC out of Kalamazoo, Michigan, undertook a mysteriously funded $30,000 direct-mail campaign on behalf of then-candidate for county supervisor Dave Roberts.
Originally known as the Congressional Elections PAC, the political action committee had been linked by Mother Jones to conservative Texas construction giant Leo Linbeck, III. Earlier in 2012, the committee had backed Republican Tea Party candidates in Texas and Tennessee, raising questions about why it had chosen Roberts, a Democrat, for its political largesse.
It wasn't until November 20, after the campaign was over with Roberts the victor, that USA PAC was required by federal law to file a campaign disclosure statement. It showed the source of funds for the pro-Roberts mail campaign to be the Pala Band, though no one with the tribe would comment, and the PAC was closed-mouthed as well.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Leadership and Membership Changes at Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians

The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians is a member of the California Tribal Business Alliance.  The other two member tribes are Pala and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.  The Chair of CTBA is Leslie Lohse who is also treasurer of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians of California.

Seems there has been a shakeup at Paskenta.  Some were disenrolled.  Their entire council was removed except Chairman Andy Freeman who is keeping his position.


A little more than 100 members showed up for the meeting (April 12th), but nearly half, including one tribal leader, were asked to leave by Tribal Chair Andy Freeman.

“It bothered him and a lot of things were brought to his attention and he acted on it,” said Tribe Treasurer Ambrosia Rico.

What bothered Freeman is that there were members of the “Henthorne/Pata” family not meeting the criteria for tribal membership.

The criteria is to have direct ancestral lineage to the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians.

Other current tribal members and operators of Rolling Hills tell us they do not know how this family became part of this band around the time Rolling Hills Casino was built.

Their application was denied twice by an expert in anthropologic and genealogy investigations and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Read More Here - Action News Now - A major shake-up has taken place within the tribe that owns Rolling Hills Casino in Corning


Action News Now - Rolling Hills Casino's governing body going through "tribal transition"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Big Secret Behind Pala Interactive

What's the Big Secret behind Pala Interactive?  The Big Secret is that it's not really a secret.  It's been all over the news for over a year.  I first linked to a couple of articles on Pala Interactive back in July 2013.  Seems the only people that don't really know about Pala Interactive are tribal members.

Anyone with a computer and internet can pull up information on Pala Interactive.  Here are just a sampling of the various articles over the last year.

July 10, 2013 The Dirty Stack, Pala Interactive’s Hope, Regulation of Online Poker

July 9, 2013 Exclusive: Phil Ivey Signs as Brand Ambassador for Tribal Online Poker in California New business venture Pala Interactive will be headed by CEO Jim Ryan.


July 11, 2013 Pala Interactive Formed to Offer Online Poker in California

October 3, 2013 Jim Ryan back in the game

November 8, 2013 More New Jersey Online Poker Licensing: Eight Additional Transactional Waivers Granted

July 26, 2013 Current Online Poker Bills Are Designed to Appease Casino Giants - Part 2

November 4, 2013 Pala Interactive Selects CAMS for Nationwide Internet Poker Rollout

February 1, 2014 New Jersey online gambling technology providers are approved

October 18, 2013 Pala Interactive signs with GeoComply USA

November 8, 2013 Paddy Power, Pala, Betable Seek New Jersey Partner

March 7, 2013 Pala Chairman Reacts to New Jersey Becoming Third State to Legalize Online Gaming

April 9, 2014 Going Commercial

Monday, April 21, 2014

Robert Smith Talks Tribal Gaming and Online Poker

There is a recent article from dated April 9th, 2014 that quotes Robert Smith fairly extensively.

Here is the link to the article:

Going Commercial By Dave Bontempo Wed, Apr 09, 2014

There is a few paragraph introduction to Indian Gaming.  If you scroll down a bit you will come to this subheading:

Pala: One Powerful Executive

Here are a few quotes:
The Pala group used other people’s money to build its empire and the bank had a long-term customer. Pala later obtained a second $125 million loan for expansion and has paid down most of its debt.
“We only owe about $40 million now,” Smith says. “We could pay it off but would rather leave the credit open in case we decide to do a facelift.”
That formula also concerns gaming’s next golden goose. Smith, the chairman of the California Tribal Business Alliance, says he has personally helped the effort to bring two online gaming bills before the California legislature. He hopes they pass by the end of the summer, enabling all state tribes the option of establishing online gambling.

“It would take from $10 million to $20 million to get started, so most tribes in California would not be able to do it,” Smith asserts, “but this is another case in which everyone will benefit. We will negotiate a fee for the state and we also will build a call center, etc. Hopefully, we will get this one over the finish line.”

Pala has joined with former PartyPoker chief Jim Ryan to form Pala Interactive. While the tribe has not revealed its plans for this venture, an early announcement that Pala has partnered with poker superstar Phil Ivey is just an indication that Pala has grand visions for a legal iPoker industry in California.

Read Full Article Here - Going Commercial By Dave Bontempo Wed, Apr 09, 2014 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Remijo Lugo

This was emailed to me.  I guess it's another letter going around Pala.  On the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll both Margarita Brittain and Remijo Lugo are listed as 4/4.  But Pala's EC decided to ignore this in order to disenroll us.  If this is allowed to stand then anyone's blood line could be questioned.

Our elders decided over 50 years ago what the base roll of the tribe is and what the enrollment requirements were to be.  1/16 "Pala" blood and direct lineal descendent from the 1913 Pala Allotment Roll. Didn't matter if one was Yaqui, Cahuilla, Luiseno, or Kupa.  If you were part of the removal our elders decided you were part of the tribe.

Why over 50 years later has this changed?

Lugo Family Bloodline

1913 Pala Allotment Roll

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Off Reservation Casino Proposal Crosses Another Milestone

Desert - Casino's final impact statement released

BARSTOW • A proposed $160 million casino and resort off Lenwood Road near Interstate 15 has been cleared of any major negative impact on the environment by the U.S. Department of Interior.

The final environmental impact statement released Friday, which must proceed through a 30-day comment period, represents a major hurdle cleared in the 12-year effort to build the complex with 57,000 square feet of gaming space.

The Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians has been seeking to build the casino on about 23 acres of land near the Tanger Outlet mall for years.

Read More Here - Desert - Casino's final impact statement released

See Also:

Barstow Casino Development Takes a Giant Step Forward

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Jersey Internet Gaming Disclosure Statement filed by Pala Interactive LLC

Reinstatement Restitution found the following document on the internet.  There is quite a bit of info online with regard to Pala Interactive LLC.  Not sure if tribal members are aware or not.

Shauna Anton filed the statement.  Who is Shauna Anton?  According to her Linkedin profile she is currently Chief Financial Officer at Pala Casino Spa and Resort.  Interestingly she was previously Director of Finance at Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel.  Fitzgeralds was in part owned by Jerry Turk at one time.

According to Pala Interactive's Demo Page Shauna Anton is also CFO & Acting Vice President of Compliance of Pala Interactive.

It looks like Pala Interactive is still under construction but they are making progress.

The Politics of Online Gambling

The politics surrounding online gambling in the United States is getting a bit more interesting lately.  It's no secret big money gets legislation passed at the State level as well as at the Federal level.  Initially several tribes including Pala, Pechanga, Agua Caliente, United Auburn, Morongo, Rincon as well as many others began throwing money at State legislators in hopes of getting legislation passed that would legalize Online Poker.  There's been some in-fighting and disputes about what this legislation should look like.  But for the most part things keep moving forward.

Initially many tribes took a stance against online gambling or tried to carve out exceptions so that only tribes could have online gambling.  This tactic has seemed to have failed and so it's now become if you can't beat them join them.

Currently there are two pending bills each supported by rival factions to try to legalize online poker in California.  There seems to be some consensus that perhaps with enough time and money for the politicians the two bills could perhaps be merged if the rival factions can come to some agreements on key aspects of the bills.  Most still seems to think online poker in California is still at least 1 to 2 years away from becoming a reality.

In the meantime some States like New Jersey and Delaware have already legalized internet gambling leading some to speculate perhaps the Federal Government would also eventually legalize internet gambling.

And then something that may have been unexpected happened.  Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina introduced legislation that would essentially make internet gambling illegal.  Obviously this would derail efforts in California to make online poker legal.  Senator Diane Feinstein of California is a co-sponsor of this legislation.  This has ruffled the feathers of several Indian Tribes who have been throwing money at trying to make online poker legal.

So why this sudden interest from Lindsay Graham and Diane Feinstein in making online gambling illegal?  Turns out Las Vegas Sands owner and Billionaire Sheldon Adelson who hopes to buy the next Republican President urged Lindsay to introduce the bill.  Mr. Adelson is extremely concerned that internet gambling would cut into the profits of his brick and mortar casinos.

Feinstein is likely an opportunist in all this.  She can probably sense that by supporting a ban on internet gambling she will soon receive contributions from Indian Tribes in California hoping they can get her to change her mind.  On the other hand any time a billionaire wants something done it can be quite beneficial to one's political coffers to go along with it.  No doubt Lindsay Graham will benefit from introducing the ban.  For Feinstein it's a win-win.  She will either get money from Mr. Adelson or from the Indians Tribes and most likely from both.

Indian Tribes in California are now going up against Billionaire Sheldon Adelson.  Better open up those check books.  But don't fret just yet.  The bill would have to pass the Senate which is probably going to be difficult.  If it manages to get out of the Senate it would then have to pass the House and be signed by the President in order to become law.  This will take time.

It's turning into quite an interesting poker game with Sheldon Adelson now buying in and raising the ante.  The question now is if the forces that support online gambling have enough money to go up against the big boys.  Other big casino owners such as Steve Wynn also oppose online gambling.

Remember who tried to block Indian Gaming for a while?  Las Vegas.  What eventually happened?  Vegas backed ventures ended up building and investing in many Indian Casinos.  Who is trying to block online gambling now?  Las Vegas.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pala Interactive In New Jersey?

**UPDATE:  The Dark Horse In The Jersey Online Race article appears to be no longer available.

However, the full article can still be read on Google Cache:  Cached Version of A Dark Horse in the Jersey Online Race by

Pala Interactive LLC is Pala's Online Casino arm.  While online gaming and online poker is still illegal in California other States like New Jersey have begun lifting the ban on some forms of online gaming.

I came across this article recently titled A DARK HORSE IN THE JERSEY ONLINE RACE by which states the following:

"Who is Pala Interactive? It’s an online arm of Pala Casino, located in Northern San Diego County in California, owned and operated by the Pala Band of Mission Indians since it opened its doors in 2001. The Pala Band of Mission Indians are known to be a driving force trying to pass online gaming legislation in California, and word has come out that Pala Interactive has obtained a transactional waiver to operate in New Jersey. That news made Pala one of the more constant talking points of the recent G2E convention in Las Vegas, generating buzz as a dark horse on the Jersey landscape."


"Also, it’s rumored that Pala Interactive has its own poker technology, as compared to many of the online companies that have a partner on that front and have to share their revenues as a result. And the accompanying rumor is that Pala has already invested nine figures—more than $100,000,000—into this venture, which would seem to indicate they’re in it for the long haul." (emph. added)

You can read the full article HERE

UPDATE:  The Dark Horse In The Jersey Online Race article appears to be no longer available.

However, the full article can still be read on Google Cache:  Cached Version of A Dark Horse in the Jersey Online Race by

Letter to Pala Members About Pala Online Poker

Pala Cartoon by kupa821

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Denied Members of San Pasqual Plan Protest Tomorrow

UT San Diego - Tribe's enrollment dispute sparks protest

By Edward Sifuentes APRIL 10, 2014

NORTH COUNTY — More than 100 people who say they’ve unfairly been denied membership in the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians are planning a protest Sunday on the Valley Center reservation, challenging the tribe’s enrollment policies.

The group will be joined by some San Pasqual members who support their claim and are pushing back against the tribe’s chairman, Allen Lawson, claiming he’s not a true San Pasqual descendant.

Many in the group plan to gather about 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Canal Road and North Lake Wohlford Road for a short march to the tribal hall, where they will protest outside during the tribal council’s quarterly meeting.

Read More Here - UT San Diego - Tribe's enrollment dispute sparks protest