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Arizona Tribe Fights to Keep Casino

31 March 2003

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "The Colorado River Indian Tribes want to keep operating their Parker casino in western Arizona under their current gambling agreement, not under the terms of Proposition 202 that voters approved last fall.

"While CRIT has requested a gambling agreement, known as a compact, under 202, it did so as a technicality to protect its casino rights. But what it really wants is for Gov. Janet Napolitano to renew its pre-202 agreement that expires in August 2004, a representative said.

"…Proposition 202 allows Nevada-style blackjack and more slot machines, but also calls for sharing a portion of gambling revenues with the state, which is expected to garner Arizona an estimated $89 million to $102 million per year.

"CRIT's current compact does not require revenue sharing. "For CRIT, having the additional games doesn't really benefit them," said Michael Mandell, a Phoenix lawyer for the tribe.

"…CRIT was not a party in talks leading up to Proposition 202 and, therefore, would be asked to agree to something it wasn't involved in, Mandell said.

"The state Department of Gaming wants to know officially where CRIT stands on its gambling agreement desires.

"…CRIT operates about 460 slots at its BlueWater Resort & Casino, but cannot go beyond its current cap of 475 or add Nevada-style blackjack under its current agreement…"

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