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Arizona Casino Patrons Unfazed by Ruling Against Indian Gaming

5 July 2001

ARIZONA – July 5, 2001 – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "Despite a judge's ruling that threatens Indian gaming, the slots continued to hum at the state's 19 casinos.

"South of Phoenix, a steady tide of people flocked to the Gila River Casino on Independence Day, oblivious to the legal war set off Tuesday by a federal judge's decision that Indian gaming is illegal.

"…U.S. District Judge Robert Broomfield declared the state's Indian gaming compacts unconstitutional and barred Gov. Jane Hull from any further gaming negotiations with the state's 17 tribes. The decision was a victory for horse and dog tracks, which were suing to stop expanded Indian gaming.

"…[Sun Lakes retiree David Rittberg] said the gaming issue should be put to voters, not left up to politicians or moneyed racetrack owners.

"Other gamblers saw the issue as one of fairness, saying Indian tribes have a virtual monopoly on gaming that puts other businesses at a disadvantage.

"…Others extolled the economic benefits that the $830 million industry brings in the form of employment and community investment.

"…Meanwhile, casinos in Arizona or elsewhere aren't likely to close anytime soon because Bloomfield's ruling almost certainly will be appealed."

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