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Arizona Gaming Director Plays Favorites

30 July 2002

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "The director of the state Gaming Department publicly favors one of three gambling measures on the ballot this fall and opposes another one, calling into question his impartiality as a regulator.

"Steve Hart used $150 of his own money to endorse Proposition 202 and criticize Proposition 200 in an information pamphlet that will be sent to Arizona voters next month.

" To opponents of Proposition 202, the Indian gaming measure backed by 17 Arizona tribes, it is a questionable endorsement.

"`His job is to not play favorites and to be a neutral arbitrator,' said Jason Rose, a spokesman for Proposition 200, sponsored by the Colorado River Indian Tribes.

"…In his paid statement, Hart says that proposition is `a misguided effort by its sponsor ... to self-regulate its casinos.'

"…In a separate statement, Hart supports Proposition 202, calling that measure `the only choice for Arizona.'

"… Hart, who was appointed by Gov. Jane Hull, said he can be impartial if the Colorado River Indian Tribes' initiative prevails at the polls Nov. 5 and becomes the basis for new Indian gaming compacts with the state…"

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