The City Council of Cathedral City approved an “Intergovernmental Agreement” with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (Tribe) for its planned gaming and entertainment center to be built at the northwest corner of Highway 111 (East Palm Canyon Drive) and Date Palm Drive in Downtown Cathedral City. The agreement provides the City with approximately $6.5 million over ten years to help mitigate the impacts of a new gaming facility. Specifically, the City receives $150,000 per year to help pay for increased public safety including police, fire, and ambulance service. It also provides $500,000 for repair, maintenance and reconstruction of city streets, among other benefits the Tribe will apply.
The “Intergovernmental Agreement” is a requirement of the state gaming compact that was signed into law by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2016. It requires both parties to recognize that the project is important and beneficial for building trust, mutual respect, good will, and cooperation for the benefit of the entire community. The City and the Tribe acknowledge that downtown casino benefits the community with increased employment, growth of local markets, an attraction to patrons and tourists, and increased revenue from visitors outside of the area. The Tribe has already approved the Intergovernmental Agreement, and now that the City of Cathedral City has approved it, the two governments will move forward with signatures.
The Tribe plans to start construction of the new downtown gaming facility once it receives approval from the federal government for moving the property from fee into tribal trust land. The federal approval could come any day.