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Barstow Bid Rejected

29 June 2006

BARSTOW, California – As reported by the Desert Dispatch: "An Assembly committee Wednesday rejected a bid by two Indian tribes with reservations far from Barstow to open casinos in that economically depressed town after representatives from several Inland gaming tribes testified against the proposal.

"The vote by the Assembly Governmental Organizational Committee marked the latest instance of lawmakers rejecting gaming compacts negotiated by the Schwarzenegger administration.

"Legislative approval is required for the deals to be enacted.

"The vote almost certainly dooms chances for side-by-side Barstow casinos run by the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians of San Diego County and the Big Lagoon Rancheria of Humboldt County. A final vote breakdown was not available Wednesday night.

"The bid for the two casinos, which was crafted by Gov. Schwarzenegger's negotiators last year, drew opposition from Inland tribes and others who said it would violate federal law and break promises California tribes made to voters when they approved Indian gambling here more than six years ago. The two out-of-town tribes said the deal was their best avenue to economic development.

"…Lawmakers left open the possibility of changing the pacts to allow the tribes to put a casino in another part of the state.

"…Schwarzenegger spokesman Darrel Ng said the governor was disappointed by the panel's action…"

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