A referendum that seeks to reverse the California Legislature’s approval of a planned 2,000 slot machine casino to the north of Madera has qualified for the November 2014 statewide ballot, Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Wednesday.
Bowen’s office had to validate some 800,000 signatures filed last month by self-described gambling watchdog group Stand Up for California — a longtime opponent of the project — before the referendum could be certified.
With Wednesday’s confirmation, the referendum effectively places months of debate over the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians’ proposed gaming house into the hands of voters next November.
“We are confident that Californians will reject this compact when they see that it is a great deal for Las Vegas investors but a bad deal for the rest of us,” said Cheryl Schmit, director of Stand Up for California. “The compact sets the precedent of allowing reservation shopping and has already created a new ‘gold rush’ of investors looking to build casinos off reservation land across the state.” ...