Blaming Economic Bust, Pechanga Casino Folds 400 Employees

The Pechanga Resort & Casino -- Riverside County's second-largest private employer -- is laying off about 400 of its 4,700 employees, blaming the weakening economy, tribal officials said Wednesday. Full Story
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Martin the investigator

Compton, CA

#2 Jul 23, 2008
Why arent the wrongful terminations reported? Pechanga has been firing people without reason for a long time. They just went through another wave of about 30 people days before this article was printed. They didnt get any severance package.Dont think Pechanga is always doing the right thing, they are constantly affecting people in negative ways. They are recently most known for investigating employees personal lives with an investigator named Martin. One last thing, If you are vietnamese do not even bother trying to get a job there ever, they wont hire you. They now just automatically assume that anybody Vietnamese is part of the Tran organization.
Original Pechanga

Brea, CA

#3 Jul 23, 2008
Pechanga also suffered from having to spend so much to ensure that their Prop. 94 passed. They spent so much money trying to convince the public that the were good. Well, KNBC's own video, WITHOUT A TRIBE proved they weren't. People are starting to understand and go elsewhere
Original Pechanga

Brea, CA

#4 Jul 23, 2008
KAM wrote:
How horrible for these folks! I bet they're not from the tribe either, so they don't have the automatic 20k coming in each month. If Pechanga would let people win a little money once in awhile (I used to win A LOT out there),.
As a correction, the Pechanga Tribal members were able to boost their per capita when they eliminated the family portrayed in WITHOUT A TRIBE to $30,500 per month (not including bonuses) Original Pechanga's Blog has more details on Pechanga and a link to the Without a Tribe story, which is still the most viewed on KNBC.
ex-Pechanga gambler

Chino Hills, CA

#6 Jul 23, 2008
The Pechanga tribe members are getting $30,000 per month per capita from the Casino...do the math ...1400 tribe members at $30,000 each month comes to 42 million A MONTH!!...and by firing emplyess, they can keep the per capita at the current amount...and if the machines pay less..well thats more money for the tribe..do you think that this is what the government had in mind when they made them tax-free?....this is BIG business...and why is there smoking in the casinos?...it is both harmfull to the employees(many which don't have health insurance) and to the customers...who do you think picks up the health costs?...tax payers...which aen't the Indians.!!
Dino

Covina, CA

#7 Jul 24, 2008
Do you honestly believe that each and every member of the tribe is getting $30K a month?

I seriously doubt it. A family of 4 getting $120K a month????
San Manuel

Fontana, CA

#8 Jul 24, 2008
Dino wrote:
Do you honestly believe that each and every member of the tribe is getting $30K a month?
I seriously doubt it. A family of 4 getting $120K a month????
Well, every member of the San Manuel tribe over the age of 18 gets $100K a month so they may limit it to adults as San Manuel does, but it's still a filthy amount of money just for being an indian.
And...they pay no state taxes on their income, no property taxes on their HUGE reservation houses, no car license fees on their Hummers, limos, and Ferraris, and collect no sales taxes on anything they sell on their reservation.
Also, the machines are completely controlled by the indians, under the watchful eye of the 'indian gaming commission' composed of about 60 people checking on 360+ indian casinos throughout the US, so they can crank them down as far as they want when they want more money.
Not bad for a few million a year given to the state politians to let them do as they please!
Melanie

Houston, TX

#9 Jul 24, 2008
I feel the pain. I was an employee @ Pechanga 5 months ago. I love Pechanga, but everyone is hurting at this point in time. My heart goes out to all that are let go.
Melanie

Houston, TX

#10 Jul 24, 2008
that is not true... i have lots of friends that are vietnamese working there!!!!!
Martin the investigator wrote:
Why arent the wrongful terminations reported? Pechanga has been firing people without reason for a long time. They just went through another wave of about 30 people days before this article was printed. They didnt get any severance package.Dont think Pechanga is always doing the right thing, they are constantly affecting people in negative ways. They are recently most known for investigating employees personal lives with an investigator named Martin. One last thing, If you are vietnamese do not even bother trying to get a job there ever, they wont hire you. They now just automatically assume that anybody Vietnamese is part of the Tran organization.
disgusted-exindi angambler

Simi Valley, CA

#11 Jul 24, 2008
Why aren't they paying the same taxes as me?..I can see them getting tax free status when they are poor and living in poverty on the Reservation, but has anybody looked up in the hills behind San Manuel and seen those ugly huge houses they have built?....when they are that rich...why shouldn't they pay tax?..when are people going to wake up to the fact that they are getting special treatment?...and why are they allowed to have smoking in the casino?..I can't have it in my restaurant....I am told that I need to protect my employees....but the state is saying that the Indians DON"T??...why??...the Indians use the excuse that they can't give free alcohol to you because California won't allow it...yet they allow smoking which California DOESN"T allow....whats up with that??..
San Manuel

Fontana, CA

#12 Jul 24, 2008
The issue of whether or not California Indians are subject to the full array of taxes that non-Indians pay has led to misunderstanding and confusion for both Indians and non-Indians.
All residents of the United States, including Indians, must pay federal income tax.
However, whether or not Indians are subject to California state income tax is more complicated. California Indians do NOT pay state income tax if they are an "eligible" Indian, live on a reservation or Indian trust allotment, and work on the reservation or trust allotment. If they live or work off the reservation or trust allotment Indians must pay state income tax.
Indians pay real property tax on property owned off a reservation or trust allotment, but do NOT pay property tax on land or buildings built on reservation or trust allotment land. However, if the land is owned by a tribe or individual Indian "in fee" the property is subject to taxation.
Indians are NOT subject to fees and licenses that apply to buildings or activities that occur on reservations or trust allotments.
Indians are EXEMPT from paying vehicle license fees by legislation signed by Governor Gray Davis in 1999 if vehicles are used primarily on reservation land
Indians pay sales tax on sales off reservation and trust allotment land, but are EXEMPT from paying sales tax on most sales on reservations.
San Manuel

Fontana, CA

#13 Jul 24, 2008
In 2001, California Common Cause released the report,“Stacking the Deck,” on the growth of the gaming industry as a political powerhouse.
The report detailed millions of dollars in contributions, and uncovered over $1.5 million in unreported campaign donations by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, which led to a protracted legal battle, culminating in the California Supreme Court ruling, in Fair Political Practices Commission v. Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
The Court determined that Indian tribes must comply with state political disclosure laws. After fives years of legal wrangling, the case—brought on by the original Common Cause findings—was settled in July 2007, with Agua Caliente paying the FPPC a settlement of $200,000.
Our new research, done through the California Secretary of State’s website, indicates that Native American tribal governments in California spent over $12.7 million between the start of 2006 to the July 2007 in political expenditures, mostly in the form of campaign contributions. Another part was payments for independent expenditures—mailings, phone calls, hotel rooms,
and the like. This money went to an assortment of state assembly, state senate, and statewide candidates and incumbents, down to positions such as mayor, county supervisor, and sheriff.
As well, a large amount of donations were made to ballot propositions. This money came in large part from tribes with successful casinos—in this case, those who wished to expand their enterprises by amending their compacts—as well as two statewide tribal umbrella organizations, the California Tribal Business Association and the
California Nations Indian Gaming Association.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, by the procedures laid out in the California Constitution, is charged with the negotiation of the details of the tribal compacts, refused to take campaign contributions from gaming tribes
and in fact returned several sizable contributions from those connected with the development of tribal casinos.
The governor stated in his 2003 recall election campaign against then-Governor Gray Davis that he would not accept campaign contributions from groups that his office would negotiate directly with, such as the tribes and labor unions.
Gray Davis, and Gov. Schwarzenegger’s 2006 gubernatorial opponent, Democrat Phil Angelides, both accepted sizable contributions from gaming tribes.
In addition to the sizable campaign ontributions, the tribes spent a large amount on lobbying. In the same period, from January 2006 to the present, the tribes spent together $2,016,566.82 in payments for lobbying activity, including money spent on activities—meals, golf outings, receptions, and even pop concerts for state legislators and legislatives aides.
While the money spent on lobbying fluctuated between tribes—with the Agua Caliente tribe spending over $400,000 on the high end and the Paskenta tribe spending only $22,222.20—all of the tribes seeking ratification of their amended compacts in 2007 spent several hundred thousand dollars, on average $335,526.28.
Just what influence - if any - these very large contributions had on the eventual passage of the compacts will be for policymakers and scholars to
determine.
San Manuel

Fontana, CA

#14 Jul 24, 2008
And while we're on the sudject:

Can someone PLEASE tell me why we supply power to the so-called 'sovereign nation indian casinos' when a Flex Alert is called and Californians are requested to cut power during peak periods??
If we are close to the limit of our power grid (and there were brown-outs in northern California a couple of years ago), why supply power to outsiders?
We don't ship power to Mexico or Canada (other sovereign nations) so why do the indian casinos (who pay NO state taxes) get away with this?
Either they should get their own power plants or adnit they are just a part of the state and pay their fair share of state taxes and allow the state to eliminate the monopoly they have on Las Vegas style gaming and open up the whole state to competition.
Enough of this favorable treatment for the indians, who have more money than they can spend in twenty lifetimes!
To ex-Indian gambler

Temecula, CA

#15 Jul 24, 2008
If they could be lucky enough to pay what you and I pay in taxes. They pay 25% - 3 times more than what the rest of us pay - in taxes on the casino business. Think about that. Other businesses pay about 8%, but the Indians, they pay 25%.
disgusted-exindi angambler

Simi Valley, CA

#16 Jul 24, 2008
From what I have read...they haven't paid any extra taxes on the new machines and since no one can see their books...who is to say how much they really pay?..hard to figure what 25% is when you don't have to disclose and hide behind Sovereign Nation garbage...In my opinion ..you are using double-talk to make them look good....go to the original pechaga site...you will hear from ex-tribal people how most of the big shots live off the reservation, but keep a shack on the reservation to keep the tax free exemption on purchases....hardly above the board.(or legal)the poor Indians are laughing at the white man all the way to the bank...!
Original Pechanga

Brea, CA

#17 Jul 24, 2008
The Indian's don't pay taxes point has been answered. As a member, Pechanga paid my $268,000 my last full year. Coupled with our jobs, our Federal tax payment was $108,000 and we paid about $22,000 to the state. And that was after all deductions and credits (of which they were reduced as they fall away as the income goes up)

Now, the remaining tribal members are being paid $30,500 per month. You must be over 18 to receive that amount, currently there are about 750 adults receiving per capita. 230 adults were terminated from the tribe, against the constitution.

Come see my blog for more. Google Original Pechanga's Blog and it will have a safe link for all KNBC viewers.

Regarding the 25% tax rate. That was the number for the machines about the 5,000 level, of which Pechanga only has about 3500, most of them empty. The PROMISE that they will give us $9 BILLION will not happen. Of course, it pains me to say; WE TOLD YOU SO.

Please support those California Indians who have had their civil rights violated by tribes like Pechanga. Do not patronize them. Go to another casino.
disgusted-exindi angambler

Simi Valley, CA

#18 Jul 24, 2008
Original Pechanga....is it true that a tribal member was stealing the employees tips from them?..and was it a large amount of money??..is he still a tribal member getting the checks?..can he avoid prosecution by hiding on the reservation?..
ex-pechanga employee

Temecula, CA

#20 Aug 6, 2008
I was recently fired for being late too many times at pechanga. They have a policy outlined in the handbook on how to deal with terminations and what needs to be done to fight a termination. So I went ahead and wrote a letter to the vice-pres of Food and Beverage, and I never received a call back. These guys go against their own handbook and I have seen them do it on more than one occasion. Don't work there, they are demons.
Ex-Pechanga worker

Redondo Beach, CA

#21 Aug 13, 2008
I worked at Pechanga for several years and there are a lot of unethical business practices that occur there on a regular basis. Instead of fighting the issues that I had there I quit because I knew that there was nothing I could do to change things. I do not recommend anyone to work there.
Indian Land

United States

#22 Sep 13, 2008
Melanie wrote:
I feel the pain. I was an employee @ Pechanga 5 months ago. I love Pechanga, but everyone is hurting at this point in time. My heart goes out to all that are let go.
Hey guy, lets see? How much money the share holders of a big corporation make every months? How much money makes the CEO of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac make every months for years? What about Enron? Let see how much money make the senators, the mayors the governors around the country? And for how long? And what about the retirement and the health insurance of those people? And the laboratories? Medicines that suppose to save our children lives and cure our illness, how much the make? How much the senator receives from those company lobbies?
The Indian Nation,(for your information I’m not and Indian) enter in the business of gambling and casino to make money just like any other business people, and when they do, they planned to make money, like any other casino owners, and like in Vegas you must expect that if they don’t make the money they suppose they will fire people, and if the business going well the will rehired again, and like any other business people the invest millions to collect millions, for your information all casino in the world are prosper with all the people that loose money there., like the big corp. the make money with us “little people”.
But you will say that they don’t paid taxes, so? They are a nation in which we must respect all the law and everything we sign with them.
Just go thirty or forty year back, remember how the live, remember how the with people forget this tribe in the middle of the dessert or in some remote place and probably in some infertile land.
We don’t like them to own a casinos? well then lets returned all the land an territory we stake and steal from them , lets move our houses, shopping malls and cities that we build over Indian land, before and after the reservations is simple is very simple, one hand just wash the one…
San Manuel

Fontana, CA

#23 Sep 13, 2008
Indian Land wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey guy, lets see? How much money the share holders of a big corporation make every months? How much money makes the CEO of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac make every months for years? What about Enron? Let see how much money make the senators, the mayors the governors around the country? And for how long? And what about the retirement and the health insurance of those people? And the laboratories? Medicines that suppose to save our children lives and cure our illness, how much the make? How much the senator receives from those company lobbies?
The Indian Nation,(for your information I’m not and Indian) enter in the business of gambling and casino to make money just like any other business people, and when they do, they planned to make money, like any other casino owners, and like in Vegas you must expect that if they don’t make the money they suppose they will fire people, and if the business going well the will rehired again, and like any other business people the invest millions to collect millions, for your information all casino in the world are prosper with all the people that loose money there., like the big corp. the make money with us “little people”.
But you will say that they don’t paid taxes, so? They are a nation in which we must respect all the law and everything we sign with them.
Just go thirty or forty year back, remember how the live, remember how the with people forget this tribe in the middle of the dessert or in some remote place and probably in some infertile land.
We don’t like them to own a casinos? well then lets returned all the land an territory we stake and steal from them , lets move our houses, shopping malls and cities that we build over Indian land, before and after the reservations is simple is very simple, one hand just wash the one…
So your wife is an indian and making the big bucks! That's the ONLY reason you'd be talking like this when the indians pay NO state taxes (especially when the state needs the monry so badly).
Meth deals up in the hils over San Manuel, infiltrated with the Mexican mafia, gun fights with the Sheriffs at Pala, and NO controls or audits over how much they skim.
Open up the state to everybody for Las Vegas style gambling and keep the money here and give American citizens a chance to invest in casinos.
The indians want their 'sovereign nation' status but sure use the states services everyday so want it both ways!

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