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California tribe, lawyer battle over casino

27 November 2006

CALIFORNIA – As reported by L.A. Times: "For thousands of years, Gabrielino Indians say, they have lived in the Los Angeles Basin. They survived the Spanish missions, Mexican settlers and white developers.

"Now, a tribe that nearly disappeared is mired in a legal battle over who has the right to control its destiny — and what role gambling might play in its future.

"For six years, a recently organized group of Gabrielinos has worked with Santa Monica lawyer Jonathan Stein, who convinced them he could do what many said was impossible: win them the right to open a casino in the heart of the Los Angeles Basin. Such a casino, according to proponents, could generate more than $1 billion a year.

"They made some progress, but the partnership has collapsed in acrimony and lawsuits.

"The Gabrielinos say they have been taken advantage of. Stein contends it is he who has been victimized — by tribal members who spurned him after he got investors to give them millions of dollars to pursue their long-shot quest for gaming rights…"

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