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2 Casinos Bypass Slot Limit with New Electric Games

28 April 2003

CALIFORNIA – As reported by Sign On San Diego: ``Two of California's largest and busiest Indian casinos are moving beyond the state's limit of 2,000 slot machines with games that resemble slots but are technically and legally something different.

``Some industry insiders say that in addition to bolstering their slot inventories, the tribes may be firing a warning shot across the state's bow as compact renegotiations get under way.

``Pechanga and Morongo, both of Riverside County, are adding 'Class 2' machines, and the state could see many more of them. They fall under a federal category of games that aren't subject to state compacts and could be installed by the thousands in California tribal casinos.

``The main reason they're not yet widespread is because they generate only about one-quarter to one-third of the revenue of a conventional slot machine.

``They also carry potential legal and political risks for tribes hoping to get the 2,000-slot maximum raised without surrendering more money and regulatory authority to the state.

```We know of at least two tribes that have them on the floor, and we hear of others that are interested in experimenting with Class 2 devices,' said Harlan Goodson, who directs the state Division of Gambling Control. 'It certainly does impact things.'

``The gambling compacts that Gov. Gray Davis signed with 61 tribes in 1999 are open for renegotiation this year, although no tribe is obligated to revise the 20-year agreements…"

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