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California tribes, Assembly Democrats reach agreement

27 June 2007

SACRAMENTO, California -- As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune: "A group of powerful Southern California Indian tribes have reached a tentative accord with Assembly Democrats that could clear the way for ratification of multibillion-dollar gambling compacts that have been stalled since August.

"The compromises on issues such as casino operating standards and workers' compensation are outlined in a five-page 'memorandum of agreement' signed June 21 by Danny Tucker, chairman of the Sycuan band of El Cajon.

"That document and a similar one signed by Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro appear to be awaiting the signature of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been in Europe since Saturday. Schwarzenegger was scheduled to return to the Capitol today.

"...The pending compacts would allow the five tribes – among the nation's wealthiest – to add up to 22,500 slot machines. That would enable them to more than double and, in some cases, triple their operations in one of the largest gambling expansions in state history.

"In return, the tribes agreed to give the state a larger cut, projected at more than $22 billion during the life of the compacts, which would expire at the end of 2030.

"The deals must be ratified by the Legislature before being submitted to the Department of the Interior for final approval..."

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