As of 2014, California has entered into approximately 72 tribal-state compacts, each constituting a separate agreement between the State and each signatory tribe. Though the terms vary in accordance with the circumstances of individual tribes, the compacts have some fundamental similarities.
Tribal-state compacts are necessary to authorize Class III gaming on Indian lands, and to allow states, through good-faith negotiation, to have their legitimate interests in effective regulation of such gaming accommodated. The compact process cannot be used to extend State jurisdiction into areas not reasonably necessary for effective regulation of Class III gaming, or as a source of state general fund revenues. Federal law requires that the tribe be the primary beneficiary of its gaming operation.
Tribal-State Class III gaming compacts are agreements between the State and separate sovereign tribal governments.Having been ratified by the Legislature (Gov. Code §12012.25), compacts are part of and have the force of California law; having been approved by the Secretary of the Interior [25 U.S.C. §2710(d)], these compacts also have the force of federal law as well as tribal law.