California Proposition 5, the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts Initiative (1998)

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California Proposition 5, also called the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts Initiative, was on the November 3, 1998 election ballot in California as an initiated state statute. It was approved with 62.4% of voters in favor.

The campaign was fiercely contested on both sides. Over $68 million was spent on the campaign in its favor, while $25 million was spent to oppose it.

What was at stake was a compact between the California state government and various Indian tribes regarding gambling on tribal lands; in particular, a number of Indian tribes wanted to be able to install slot machines in their tribal casinos.

Election results

Proposition 5
Approveda Yes 5,092,446 62.38%

Of voters who cast a vote in this election, 457,253 or 5.3% did not cast a vote on Proposition 5.

Text of measure


The ballot title was:

Tribal-State Gaming Compacts. Tribal Casinos. Initiative Statute.


Proposition 5.PNG

The official ballot summary said:

  • Specifies terms and conditions of mandatory compact between state and Indian tribes for gambling on tribal land.
  • Mandates Governor to sign compact upon request by tribe. Permits alternative compacts only if consistent with prescribed compact.
  • Permits gambling devices and lotteries at tribal casinos.
  • Amends California law to allow slot machines and banked card games at tribal casinos.
  • Provides for contributions to trust funds benefiting nongaming tribes, statewide emergency medical care programs, and programs benefiting communities near tribes, if tribes retain monopoly on authorized gambling.
  • Provides for reimbursement of state regulatory costs.

Fiscal impact

The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 5. That estimate was:

  • Uncertain impact on state and local revenues, depending on the extent of expansion of gambling on Indian lands in California and the amount of gambling diverted from outside the state.
  • Fiscal effect could range from little impact on revenues to significant annual increases.

Campaign spending


Supporters of Proposition 5 spent $63,237,637. The top contributors to pass Prop 5 were:


Opponents of Proposition 5 spent $25,426,870. Top contributors to defeat Prop 5 were:

  • Mirage Resorts: $6,662,500
  • Circus Circus Enterprises: $6,512,500
  • Hilton Hotels: $6,500,000
  • W.G. Bennett, Chairman & CEO, Sahara Gaming: $1,250,000
  • Caesars ITT: $1,000,000
  • Primadonna: $800,000
  • Station Casinos: $500,000
  • Austi International: $250,000
  • Rio Suite Hotel: $250,000
  • Imperial Palace: $250,000

See also

External links