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Arizona Tracks Launch Campaign Against Tribal Deal

2 April 2002

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "Trying to grab lawmakers' attention during the first day of a special session on Indian gaming, the Arizona racing industry launched a campaign Monday to kill Gov. Jane Hull's proposed deal with Arizona tribes.

"The racetracks argued in paid advertisements that the deal is bad for the state and urged Arizona residents to ask their legislators to oppose the bill, which has yet to be formally introduced in the Legislature.

"…Hull has defended the gaming accord as a delicately negotiated document that could fall apart, and open the state to vastly expanded gaming, if lawmakers add their own demands.

"…Lawmakers are at the center of a debate over whether casino-style gambling should remain exclusively on Arizona's Indian reservations or whether the dog and horse tracks should get a piece of the gaming action to shore up their industry.

"…Hull's tribal accord estimates the state would collect $83 million in the first full year of new gaming compacts. A competing proposal sponsored by Senate President Randall Gnant projects about $300 million a year, with $200 million of that from video-lottery proceeds at the tracks and $100 million from tribal operations.

"The tracks charge that Hull's accord would provide little budget relief since many of the dollars are earmarked for tribal-related purposes.

"The tracks also object to the length of the gaming compacts (10 years with a 10-year extension and a three-year window to negotiate a new compact), the secrecy in which the compacts were negotiated, and what they claim is little financial disclosure…"

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