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Arizona Tribes Get Ready for New Gaming Compact

29 November 2002

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Daily Star: "Tohono O'odham tribal Chairman Edward Manuel is going to do the same thing that thousands of Pima County residents are doing this time of year: He's going shopping.

"Only, Manuel is looking at green felt blackjack tables and the spinning fruits and other symbols of slot machines.

"Gov. Jane Hull plans to sign gaming compacts with tribes as early as Tuesday. After federal approval, Indian casinos throughout the state would be allowed to nearly double the amount of slot machines offered and introduce casino-banked blackjack.

"…Casinos face a limit of 500 machines. Under the new compacts, approved by voters earlier this month as Proposition 202, that number doubles. Plus, tribes are allowed more machines every five years based on population growth.

"While tribes offer poker and a form of blackjack where players square off against each other, casino-banked blackjack will be permitted for the first time. Tribes are allowed up to 100 tables, also increasing with population growth.

"…Tribes with casinos can buy allotments from those without casinos, allowing rural tribes without casinos to reap the rewards that come with gambling. The tribes must negotiate with each other on the price of the trade and whether it will be a flat fee per slot machine or if it is based on the amount of money the new machine brings in.

"…After Hull and the tribes sign the compacts, they will be sent to the U.S. Department of the Interior to ensure they comply with federal law. While that review can take up to 45 days, state leaders hope to expedite the schedule to finish by Jan. 1…"

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