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California Tribe Signs Casino Deal

21 October 2003

LOS ANGELES, California – As reported by Reuters: "A band of California Indians announced a last-minute deal with outgoing Governor Gray Davis on Monday that would allow the tribe to build a new casino featuring 350 slot machines in exchange for 5 percent of the gambling revenue.

"But the deal will face tough scrutiny from Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wants billions from tribal gambling interests in order to address the state's budget shortfall, a spokeswoman said.

"…The Fort Mojave tribe agreed to pay the state 5 percent of revenue from a casino to be built near Needles, California, on the border with Nevada and Arizona, both sides said on Monday.

"The tribe said that was the most it could offer the state. California's legislature must ratify the deal when it reconvenes next year and Schwarzenegger would have to sign the pact for it to take effect.

"…The tribe, which negotiates with the state as a sovereign entity, said it could take two or three years to clear regulatory hurdles and build the casino after the compact was ratified.

"Schwarzenegger, elected on Oct. 7, will be much more aggressive than Davis on seeking concessions from tribes, and he will review any compacts signed by Davis in his last days in office, spokeswoman Karen Hanretty said…"

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