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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Morongo Casino Resort & Spa Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

TV spot released on Indian gaming deals

Debra Gruszecki

The Desert Sun
April 23, 2007

Cabazon The Together Coalition of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians on Monday released a new television ad to promote ratification of amended tribal gaming compacts in California.

The spot is entitled, "Soar."

The "seven-figure" TV buy, packaged in 30-second and 60-second spots, is slated to air across the state over the next several weeks. It will be carried in traditional and Spanish media networks.

And it is hitting the airwaves the week of the state Democratic convention.

The ads, described as "straight-forward" approaches, will focus on the benefits of amended tribal gaming compacts in the state.

The new deals, which if ratified for five of California's most politically astute and prominent tribes, would usher in 22,500 slots in established casinos across the state the include those operated by the Morongo and Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

A compact for the Yurok Tribe of Northern California, authorizing 99 slots, is also pending ratification by lawmakers.

Bills to ratify the deals were passed by the Senate last week. Ratification legislation now goes before the Assembly, where a contest is expected.

Organized labor has been tugging hard at lawmakers to vote against ratification, pressing for a card check system to organize workers. Tribes have countered with their Tribal Labor Relations Ordinance, which allows for organizers to conduct campaigns and organize through a "secret ballot" process.

Patrick Dorinson, a spokesperson for Together California, said the Morongo Band is using the TV ads and a new Web site it is launching, TogetherCalifornia.com, to build a coalition of supporters and disseminate information for ratification of tribal gaming compacts which include the new deal for Morongo

If ratified, Morongo would be authorized to operate up to 5,500 additional gaming devices up from the 2,000 it now has at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, and without one slot addition, would pay the state $36.7 million annually on its existing gaming devices.

Revenues paid to the state rises from 15 to 25 percent when the slots are added to the casino floor.

While Dorinson said the TV ad is a Morongo Band effort as of now, he noted that other tribes may be launching campaigns on their own.

Weeks ago, for example, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians launched its Web site, entitled "Good Deal for California."

Rob's comment
Some responses to this posting:

"Together We Soar"...with slots
Morongo pulls ad campaign

Although the ads are about the proposed gaming compacts, they don't even mention gaming or casinos. It's misleading not to note the obvious point of the compacts: earning money by expanding gaming.

In other words, the ads stereotype the Morongos as noble, selfless protectors of the people. While the Morongos may feel this way about themselves, other people may not.

Because the ads have omitted key facts, people can't judge them or the compacts fairly. The ads create a false impression that the Morongos aren't acting in their own self-interest.

Related links
The facts about Indian gaming

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Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.

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