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California Casino Expansion Draws Conflict

3 August 2005

CALIFORNIA – As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune: "A small expansion at the Pauma Indian casino is turning into a potentially big conflict between the North County tribe and the county government.

"In what appears to be the first official challenge to one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's tribal gambling agreements, San Diego County contends Pauma violated its new compact by building and opening a small casino addition earlier this year without county approval.

"The county's top attorney sent Schwarzenegger a letter dated July 20, seeking the governor's intervention.

"…Pauma is one of 10 California tribes – four in San Diego County – that signed new gambling compacts last year. Most of the agreements allow the tribes unlimited numbers of slot machines. But they also require casino expansions to undergo more rigorous environmental reviews than they had to under previous gambling accords with former Gov. Gray Davis.

"Unlike the Davis compacts, Schwarzenegger's require tribes to negotiate agreements with local governments addressing any significant impacts, from traffic and water resources to law enforcement and problem gambling.

"San Diego County contends Pauma didn't do that when it added a 7,200-square-foot extension to its 65,000-square-foot casino several months ago. The addition, which quietly opened around March, was built to boost the casino's slot inventory by 200 machines to 1,050…"

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