Friday, January 11, 2019

Pala Casino Replaces CEO

There's an article in the San Diego Union Tribune that I will post some excerpts of.  Please go to the link to read the full article.

San Diego Union Tribune Amid fierce casino competition, Pala replaces its CEO

By Michele Parente

January 10, 2019

Excerpts:

Pala Casino Spa & Resort, which has been showing signs of struggling in the ultra-competitive San Diego-area casino market, has replaced its CEO.

Fred A. Buro, a casino executive and gaming consultant, was brought on at the start of the new year, taking over for longtime former CEO Bill Bembenek.

In March, Bembenek acknowledged to the Union -Tribune that an unspecified number of layoffs — coming amid its planned $170 million expansion — was due in part to the economic pressures from “an increasingly competitive Southern California casino resort market.”

Then in July, Pala’s VP for hotel operations said the casino had deferred construction of a new 349-room luxury hotel tower — the cornerstone of its development project — attributing it to a duo of mega-expansions at Pechanga Resort & Casino and San Manuel Casino, costing a combined $850 million.

#

Besides Bembenek, Pala’s longtime PR director is also no longer employed by the casino, but reports that Pala had terminated several other high-level members of its executive team and had cancelled its annual Christmas bonus to employees could not be confirmed.


55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Question is when is Pala going to get rid of their Chairman of their Tribe.
From what i heard from many people that go to Pala Casino is that he is not a good person and he treats the members of the Tribe like they are his redheaded step kids.
Also that when he targets certain members that don't support him he will find a way to cut them off from certain benefits that the members get.,
Including healthcare,homes, income revenue and even the right to be laid to rest in the Reservation Cemetery.
I would shot him dead if it were me that he chooses abuse.

Anonymous said...

Question why when it came out that right after Robert demanded the $100,000 check in November or early December all of a sudden the casino Manager was "let go ". Now that's a real question that needs to be addressed.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

The real question should be why was Casino management forced to resign and per capita reduced at the same time. This article seems to say that there really is a financial downturn at the Pala Casino and that the competition is forcing Pala to make changes. Now combine the different stories. The Hotel expansion was canceled after the loan was procured, 200 employees were laid off, Casino management was forced to resign, per capita was reduced, and Pala Interactive announces, of which PBMI is majority owners, that it is doing well.

Pala members had better wake up and see what is happening. Robert Smith is the majority owner of Pala Interactive. He is building up the value of the business by taking money out of the Casino and increasing the value of his share. This probably means that he is creating an escape plan that will enable him to get away with hundreds of millions of dollars. Since Pala Interactive is unregulated, it doesn't matter if their website says PBMI is the owner. Smith can sell his share and keep the money legally unless the Band moves in and shows that the money he invested in Pala Interactive was not his own money and was instead tribal funds that were converted to his personal assets.

That is called conversion of assets and is a federal crime under 18 USC 1163, embezzlement from a tribal entity.

Does anyone care that 100 million dollars was taken from PBMI and invested in Pala Interactive for Robert Smith's benefit, and that the business has been supported by Pala Casino revenue while it has been built up? Or that Bill Bembenek, former Pala Casino General Manager, and Shawna Anton, Pala Casino CFO, sit on the Pala Interactive Board of Directors. There is your escape plan, the culprits involved, and means of keeping Smith wealthy just in case things turn against him.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Pechanga isn't doing so good either....they just announced they are changing their players club and all of the customers built up comp dollars will be deleted at the end of the month. Many people have thousands in comp dollars. If they didn't get the email....it vanishes. Pechanga saves a lot of money on this move. They aren't offering play for these comp dollars. To be used in gift stores and restaurants by the end of the month. Comp dollars were earned by spending money gambling in the casino. How can they steal their customers earnings? CROOKED PECHANGA.

Anonymous said...

Smith fron Pala and Macarro from Pechanga are like 2 peas in a pot.
Both corrupt and both students of Howard Dickstien.
And both are bigger asshole than anyone i have ever known
and both should be held accountable for their shit against their Tribal Members.
I say put the lying bastards in Prison where they belong
and see wow big of a man they really are.
They would both be new brides to some big bubba.

Anonymous said...

Mark is fem and do well in prison, but who would do Robert? Maybe a male Buffalo.

Anonymous said...

I think that the male buffalo would rather eat its own shit rather than do smith.
Can a buffalo die from Aids.

Anonymous said...

Pala interactive has a lot to be said about. It definitely needs to be brought up the next meeting and lots of questions asked.

Anonymous said...

It's "NOT ON THE AGENDA".
Then make a motion to have a special financial meeting
to talk about all the finance issues of PBMI.

Anonymous said...

Strange how tight lipped the EC is about Pala interactive, that we supposedly get reports on it every quarter. I want to know WHOSE money went into it, WHY is it in Robbers name and not Pala, WHO'S benefitting from it (obviously not the Tribe).....so many more questions.

Anonymous said...

Heard today from some of Roberts cohorts that he is preparing the casino for bankruptcy. Remember he forced the bankruptcy of Warner Ranch so it is very likely that he is preparing to force the bankruptcy of the casino too. This is no joke. Better get ready for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Of course, then he'll get away with all his crimes and the Tribe can't do anything about it. The time is running out fast people, get him and Theresa out.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he knows something, and he is going to be ordered to pay something, and he has been advised he won't have to if he claims bankruptcy. He will eventually get caught and go down, and he will be taking many with him.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Normally I don't like to warn that pig, but this time is an exception. A bankruptcy of the casino will open the door to an investigation. Here is what the IGRA says:

(a) Class II gaming activity; information on operators

(1) Subject to the approval of the Chairman, an Indian tribe may enter into a management contract for the operation and management of a class II gaming activity that the Indian tribe may engage in under section 2710(b)(1) of this title, but, before approving such contract, the Chairman shall require and obtain the following information:

"(A) the name, address, and other additional pertinent background information on each person or entity (including individuals comprising such entity) having a direct financial interest in, or management responsibility for, such contract, and, in the case of a corporation, those individuals who serve on the board of directors of such corporation and each of its stockholders who hold (directly or indirectly) 10 percent or more of its issued and outstanding stock;

(e) Disapproval

The Chairman shall not approve any contract if the Chairman determines that—

(1) any person listed pursuant to subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section—

(A) is an elected member of the governing body of the Indian tribe which is the party to the management contract."

It is written in black and white. An elected member of the the governing body of the Indian tribe cannot participate in the management or operation of an Indian gaming facility.

I have brought this up numerous times in this blog. Over and over again I have cited the laws that have been violated. The Pala Gaming Authority is the Pala EC. It is a violation of the IGRA. If the Pala Casino goes into bankruptcy it will be because of mismanagement and malfeasance by the Pala Gaming Authority and they have been in violation of the IGRA all along. Here is the law: Public Law 100-497-Oct. 17, 1988 100th Congress Sec. 2701

I know no one in Pala will do anything. And even if they try they will not know how to overcome the issues of standing, jurisdiction, and tribal remedy. The warning does carry some weight though. Smith should discuss it with his corrupt attorneys.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that he is gearing up for BK of the Casino because he would be signing his own death warrant.
He needs the extra money to cover something that went wrong with one of their investments.
I heard that it Pala Interactive.
The people should motion to disband this venture and demand that all the money taken to start it and its running cost to date be put back into the place that it was stolen from by Smith and Nieto who did it without the permission of the people.
Just like i heard from a creditable source that the gregory canyon deal not only involved a kick back to Smith but also involved a 5 acre parcel set aside for him and Nieto to split later.

Anonymous said...

I thought that if you were arrested for a felony that you could not be on the EC in Pala.
In 2004 Robert Smith was arrested for a class 3 felony.
the charge was solicitation to deliver cocaine which is a class 3 felony.
The date he was arrested was 4/30/2004.
His booking number was 0408341 he posted bail of $2000
dollars on 05/02/2004.
This is from a background check.
I guess that why the people never see the background checks that the EC runs.

Anonymous said...

This budget meeting should be good. Wonder if it shows how much money Robert has taken from the casino...yea right. People please go, ask questions, realize our per capita is supposed to be based on ALL the businesses, not just the casino. NO RAISES for anyone, no raises in the budget for ANYTHING.

Anonymous said...

@4:32 AM
Do you have proof of this violation or any thing to back it up?
If so can you have posted so everyone can see that it is not just bullshit and some made up fake news.

Anonymous said...

i will send it the blog owner and see if he will post it.
there are at least 10-15 items on this report that the people should know about
Your Chairman is by know means a saint and is surly a law breaker.
Also found on this website that one of his e-mail addresses bigbankerbob@aol.com.
Some very interesting reading on this background check.

Anonymous said...

If this charge against Smith is true and verifiable
that would be grounds to get him out of the Chairman seat
for good.
I seen the report and it seem legit enough plus there are other charges in the report like arrest for drug related
charges like 3 of them are for possession of drug paraphernalia,driving without a drivers license plus other traffic violations.

Anonymous said...

Most members know about Robert's arrests, the election committee is in charge of checking the backgrounds, which he probably had a clean record way back in the 80's, but since he has been Chairman, all of the regular rules that everyone else has to abide by, do not apply to him. He has managed to slowly change and never follow the rules of Pala, he has done everything against Pala people, he has destroyed their spirit, he massacred their sense of community. He caused family breakups, neighborly feuds,he has brought forth some of the meanest vile hatred towards certain legitimate members and turned the blame on them. He has manipulated the people since day 1, he was Howard Dickstein's puppet to make him rich and bring down Pala at the same time. He has achieved his goals. Howard believed he could control Native Americans, and look what he has done for the people of Pala. Wonder where some of the people would be now if this never came to play, people who have been killed, overdosed, or banned. Unfortunately nothing will be done to make things better, until he is gone. For now, the Band will continue it's downfall.

Anonymous said...

We need to stop using those jets. End the contract, fly the high rollers (if there are any, not many judging by how empty the casino is) first class. There is no need to spend so much for the jets.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally about the jets, i believe that the last count was 2 ready to fly in a 30 minute notice.
The stand by pilots are even paid by the Tribe while they are on standby.
They wait in shifts and are ready in a moments notice.
One lives off of Winchester road and the other i am not sure where he lives.

Anonymous said...


I wonder if they are aware that they are transporting
drugs sometimes.
I am sure that they are paid good money for doing so.

Anonymous said...

A special budget meeting is set for January 30,2019 at
5PM. Get your questions ready before the meeting and don't be afraid to ask them at this meeting.
Question all the budget items on the agenda and have them explain why some of the items are not paying for them self after so many years.
Where is the profit from the groves in Pala.
And also where is the money from the Roberts Ranch property/ grove in Pauma Valley.
Pala groves include the Avocado grove, the Duker property
and the Mccament property and the grape orchard.
Also how much does it cost to operate and why do we have to keep investing in these properties if they are not producing and taking care of them selfs.
If these investments / groves keep requiring the support of Tribal funds to operate after this many years then get rid of them.
Why is Pala raceway still in the budget if it was leased to Fox Racing.
This Race way should not be in the budget for funding if it was leased to Fox.
Demand to see all the money deposit receipts where the money was deposited for the Groves for the sale of the fruit that was sold.
If they give any kind of flack then motion to not fund their budget or vote it down if someone motions to approve it.
The EC is acting just like Donald Trump is acting over his stupid border wall.\
This could be your best chance to demand answers about the finances of the Tribe or vote not to approve the budget until they produce every thing that you want.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

You're worried about avocado money? Grill them about Pala Interactive! Think of it this way. The Pala Casino has been paying out hundreds of millions since it opened in 2001. Gaming is incredibly profitable not only in the revenue it generates, but in the skims off the top that are stolen before the money is reported. Pala Interactive is online gaming. That means there are millions of dollars involved and it makes farming avocados small money by comparison.

The thing is that neither of them are reported to the GC. They aren't included in the revenue. If it is a budget meeting they have nothing to do with budgeting so it is the kind of issues that shouldn't be discussed at a budget meeting. At a budget meeting you need to see records of department expenses and spending, and if the talk is about budget cuts then you need to know what will be cut.

The General Council should know what they are paying for and how much it costs. They need to know about staffing and payroll, and that means how many employees, how much the earn, and what they do to justify employment. Good luck getting any information at all. Nieto will probably say the new budget is reduced 25%, call for a vote to approve and then the phony electronic counter will show the new budget was overwhelmingly approved.

Then they will spend the same they have always spent. There will still be a bunch of tribal employees that do no work but earn a healthy check. There will still be an American Express card with no spending limit that Smith can charge all his personal expenses on. There will still be new tribal vehicles with no plan to sell the old ones and offset the cost of purchasing new ones. There will still be hundreds of cellphones, pilots paid to be ready to fly the private jets at any time, and all the perks the EC has come to think of as part of their salary.

I know only a handful of members actually come to this blog. You handful have about a week to get together with other members and start building numbers to get control of the meeting. That is the only to block a vote until the EC provides real financial information about the costs of running the PBMI. There are many projects funded that aren't even included in the budget. Can you say slush fund?

A slush fund is money that is overbudgeted and used as discretionary spending. The can spend it on whatever they want. If they spend the entire budget each year then they can say it is the right amount for the expenses.

Good luck. This stuff happens every year. Nothing ever changes. The EC will lie. There will be a vote. The budget will get approved. And the per capita will be reduced while the other revenue allocations will stay the same.

Anonymous said...

What would happen if no one showed up for this meeting.
Would they have another one or just pass every thing .

Anonymous said...

I just heard a rumor at the Casino concerning the contract of the fired CEO.
This person said that the fired CEO has hired an Attorney to file a complaint against the PBMI and the Casino for various reasons and also for slandering his name all over the Reservation to Tribal Members.
Maybe this will be the straw that opens up all the bullshit that Smith, Nieto and the Pala Gaming Board have been up to behind the backs of the Tribal members.
Also this person seems to have knowledge of the recent check paid directly to Robert Smith in late November/
early December for $100,000 dollars.
There is supposedly a copy of the check that someone already has in their custody which they say will come out soon.
Either this is just gossip or who knows maybe this is the real deal, hopefully.

Anonymous said...

I just came from the Casino and i believe that you rumor is true.
I was playing in the poker room and i also over heard some of the employees talking about the fired CEO.
From what i over heard was that the X CEO is going for blood in his lawsuit.
Also there were a couple wirdo's just standing around
listing to people talk and were seen all around the Casino floor stopping in different areas and just listing
to people talking.
Never did see them play any machines.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but he can't sue the Tribe because we are sovereign, however he can sue Robert as an individual. If that is the case then Robert CANNOT use the Tribal lawyers, he has to hire his own. I really hope this is true, then maybe we can finally get some truths on how many times he's pulled this shit.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Well I have no problem helping out Bill Benembek even though I think he has assisted Robert Smith in skimming money out of the Casino. If he is going to sue Robert Smith he should not sue him as an individual or as the Chairman of the PBMI. He should sue him as the head of the Pala Gaming Authority which the PBMI has stated is an independent sovereign group with the same immunity as the PBMI. The problem with the Pala Gaming Authority is that it is the Pala EC. The IGRA says that elected officers of a tribe cannot participate in the management or the operation of a tribal gaming enterprise. Therefore they are not immune to a civil lawsuit. They are in violation of federal regulations and therefore cannot claim sovereign immunity.

It would put a big smile on my face to see a suit alleging fraud for claiming to be an independent sovereign while illegally participating in the management and operation of a tribal gaming facility. Then to add slander for stating that Casino management was guilty of malfeasance because revenue is down when the real reason revenue is down is because Smith keep taking a larger and larger share of the money. Then add wrongful termination and to add that the Pala Chairman sought to enrich himself with a $100,000 check without reporting to the Pala GC.

Next should come the allegations about ordering multiple financial reports with the intent of defrauding the PBMI. That is a good one that will earn credibility from the Plaintiff. A business manager who has been ordered to create multiple financial reports with the intent of publishing inaccurate financial information for distribution to the Pala GC has been compromised by his employer.

There is more and Bill Bembenek can reach out to me if he wants to, but the likelihood of this information reaching him is low. It's okay. Hope his attorney knows the ground rules.

Anonymous said...

While at the budget meeting someone needs to propose an OUTSIDE AUDIT to see where the money is going. Then you will know where you have to make changes,to address where the money can be used to profit the pala people & the tribe,in the best way possible!

Anonymous said...

Make a motion to form an audit commitee and the commitee handles the complete audit process with the full authority of the GC. That authority gives access to the casino and the administrative records. Then the commitee reports the findings directly to the GC. If you let the EC handle it you might as well let the weasels watch your chicken coop.

Anonymous said...

@R&R 3:09 PM
I just gave Bill Bembenek a photo copy of your post and he thanks you for your details and is going to pass on to his Attorney when they meet on Tuesday.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

It's really a sad state of affairs. My understanding is that Bill Benembek also sits on the Board of Directors for Pala Interactive, or holds anot executive management position with that venture. The MOA for Pala Interactive shows Robert Smith as majority owner while the website says PBMI is the majority owner. It would be fraud for Robert Smith to own the venture while portraying ithe as a tribal venture. Especially since it was funded by a loan secured by Casino revenue. Add conversion of assets to the list of offenses.

Anonymous said...

R&R @ 3:53pm
Can you or someone print a copy ( for use at monthly meeting) of where it says Robert is the majority owner of Pala Interactive and the part that says PBMI is owner??Also where it says Bill Bembenek is on the board so when they say he wasn’t recommended for the CEO job or try to say he wasn’t good at running the casino then we can say we’ll then why is he on the Pala Interactive board. If Bill is still involved with Pala/Robert Smith in any business then I don’t believe he has a lawsuit against Robert or the gaming authority. Just like the photos of smith and his daughters and friends getting on private jet paid by Pala we need pics or documents to pass around right then and there after he lies to everyone when asked the question. He has lied to our faces at the meetings so many times. He lied about the BIA backing him when he disenrolled kings family and said he would bring in the paper to next meeting. Then King hung it in his store for everyone to see and Robert came by and tore it down and ripped it up because it proved he lied to the tribe and the BIA states “due to No evidence being provided to support the disenrollments we recommend they stay on the rolls”. That’s why till this day when asked Robert will not give a reason or show anything as to why he disenrolled because he didn’t back then to the BIA or the the tribe other than gossip and sh@! talking. Most of us know the truth now what went down with the disenrollments but as long as smith and nieto are in power it will not be corrected.

Anonymous said...

It can change if the General Membership would come together at a meeting and make these demands from the EC
and not be afraid of smith and his top mouth piece nieto.
If this continues on and is not fixed ASAP the the EC will try more disenrollments until there are only the ones that support the EC are left and only those will be able to cast their votes at meetings and elections.
It needs to stop now not later NOW.

Anonymous said...

The Ec are bunch of pussies, won't do shit ,get ready to grab your ankles again,smile and take it like you always do!

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Everything you asked for has been posted on the blog. The Memorandum of Agreement, the addition of Bill Bembenek and Shawna Antonio to the leadership of Pala Interactive, and numerous announcements regarding the growth of Pala Interactive where is says the majority owner is PBMI. The blog has search tool. I suggest you use it. As a user of the blog I do not have access to post documents. The blog owner is the only person with that access, and he has already put this information out.

Give the search tool a try. If you have problems let me know and I will see if the blog owner will repost the documents.

Be prepared for Smith to have a hissy and declare it is all forged, fake, and fraudulent. After all the only news you need is what he tells you.

alina jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

How you like them checks now people?

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Here are the dates of the posts that contain the information you want:

11/18/15
This post has the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) that explains the deal between NG3 and Robert Smith, and what he receives in exchange for the $100 million stolen from PBMI, including phantom stock, a seat on the Board of Directors, and 67% of the shares. It also states the Shauna Anton will be the Chief Financial Officer, and Bill Bembenek is the Chief Strategic Officer.

12/3/15
This post has an excerpt from the Pala Interactive website where it is stated that the PBMI is the majority shareholder.

Hope that helps, but like I say, Robert Smith will say it is all forged and that everyone else but him is lying about Pala Interactive. Of course it is hard to lie when you refuse to say anything about it all. These announcements are public record and intended to instill confidence in the public that Pala Interactive is a vital enterprise and a great place to experience online gaming. The details disclosed are neither forged nor fraudulent.

Anonymous said...

January 16 4:32 Where is the proof

Anonymous said...

@ above post.
I am trying to get the info to the blog owner to post it.
Hopefully within a couple of days.

Anonymous said...

It has been posted in the above article .
See "Robert Smith Background Report" posted yesterday.

Unknown said...

The fuck is that gunna due for us

Unknown said...

Errbody got dirt on them, wont be the first , or the last!

Anonymous said...

The fired CEO at the Casino said that Mr. Smith will pay for his bullshit that caused the CEO to be fired/
non renewal of his contract by the EC/Gaming board.
According to some of the employees there are huge amounts of comps that are being pushed over to the lost side of the financial report.
Most of them are signed by your Chairman for bar tabs and
dinner for guest and unknown others at the expense of the Tribe.
We are not talking a few hundred dollars, its up in the thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of comps given and signed by Smith or Nieto on behalf of the PBMI.
Comps for room suites and regular room comps, room service and bar and meal comps.
We shall see if the fired CEO will follow through with these statements that are more than likely very true.

Anonymous said...

I really hope this is true. And I hope he has valid proof of Robert's corruption. If it means we have to shut down the casino, then so be it, something has to be done to make them all (everyone involved) pay for their crimes.

Anonymous said...

Come on Bill make it happen and save your reputation.
Maybe we should start a go-fund- me account to pay for Bills attorney fees.
How about it Bill what would it take for you to come clean about Robert Smith demanding that $100,000.00 ck.
Or are you going to be chicken shit and let Smith win again by slandering your name all over the Gaming Industry like he doing.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Or maybe he finds silence comes in a brown paper sack filled with cash.

Anonymous said...

Okay Smith have Nieto show all the Tribal members all the vouchers paid through the line of credit at the bank that gave that line of credit to the Tribe.
Let the members decide for themselves and see where our money is being spent.
Let us see how much you both have played with the numbers concerning the line of credit.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha that would be nice to see the vouchers but Smith would rather admit to having his affair with Theresa Nieto before he would agree to show any information on the submitted vouchers.
I bet he has a deal with the Contractor to submit fake vouchers on behalf of himself for a kick back.
She is as loose as a goose when she drinks and willingly
puts it out there for who ever wants some.
It probably stinks like an outhouse on a fishing boat.

Anonymous said...

Who are you I will do ever thing in my power to make sure bill b gets this info .

Anonymous said...

Haven't heard anything yet from our old CEO. Did Robert threaten him or did he give up? I for 1 was really hoping he would have alot of documented crap on Robert.