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Arizona Tracks Clash With Tribes, Governor

9 April 2002

PHOENIX, Arizona –As reported by the Associated Press: "Horse and dog racetracks clashed Monday with Indian tribes and Gov. Jane Hull as the Senate Government Committee started the Legislature's deliberations on whether to approve new agreements for Indian casinos.

"Hull is proposing a deal negotiated with 17 tribes that allows house-backed blackjack and puts more slot machines into play while providing the state a share of the profits. Horse and dog tracks say such compacts would drive them out of business. They want lawmakers to allow them to operate slot machines too.

"…Hull, making a rare personal appearance at the Legislature, said her plan is the only one that limits casino gambling to Indian reservations, allows state regulation and shares revenue with the state.

"…Tribal leaders said every tribe can find something to disagree with in the plan, but they support it because it provides the most benefit to all.

"…Additionally, tracks have been running radio commercials and newspaper ads criticizing Hull's plan and accusing the governor of negotiating the deal in secret.

"`This has been the most personal, ugly attack on a governor I have seen,' Hull said.

"…The Legislature authorized Hull to negotiate new compacts and while the discussions were closed to the public, the governor's staff outlined the general issues at play.

"…While exclusive agreements with Indian tribes are possible under federal law, Hull said the state could not offer slot machines to one type of business off the reservations, but deny it to another.

"…Neil Wake, an attorney for three of the tracks who won a lawsuit last year that prevents Hull from signing new compacts without the Legislature's approval, challenged the fairness and legality of Hull's plan…"

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