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California Tribes Finalize Agreements

9 September 2005

BARSTOW, California –- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians and the Big Lagoon Rancheria joined Governor Schwarzenegger today in announcing they have successfully negotiated gaming compacts.

The agreements allow the tribes to proceed with jointly developing a $160 million casino resort complex in Barstow. Within the proposed 47-acre complex, each tribe will own and operate an individual casino facility. The compacts also specify how associated revenues and infrastructure costs will be fairly distributed among the tribes, the State, and local government.

"This agreement represents a giant step forward for the Barstow project that will help make our people self-sufficient," said Virgil Moorehead, Big Lagoon Rancheria Tribal Chairman. "We deeply appreciate the hard work and support of Governor Schwarzenegger and his lead negotiator, Dan Kolkey. Their commitment to balancing the unique needs of our tribes and the people of California is commendable. We also thank the City of Barstow for their continuing support."

Some specific highlights of the compacts include:

-- The State will receive from 16% to 25% of the net win on slot machines and card games based on a sliding scale.

-- The tribes will be limited to operating a maximum of 2,250 gaming devices; each tribe expects to open with approximately 1,250 gaming devices.

-- The tribes will adhere to federal and state workplace standards for casino workers.

-- The compacts include provisions to address the issue of problem gambling.

-- The compacts expire on December 31, 2025.

The compacts are one of the first in the state following the Governor's May 2005 proclamation on tribal gaming, which allow for an off-reservation casino in a non-urban area when a greater state purpose is being served. The signing follows a ten-year effort by the Big Lagoon tribe to negotiate a compact. As part of the agreement, tribe members agree not to commercially develop their traditional reservation property located in coastal Humboldt County.

"We are extremely pleased to have emerged from these negotiations with an agreement that is solid, fair, and workable," said Katherine Siva Saubel, Tribal Spokeswoman for the Los Coyotes Band. "We can now begin to move forward with our enterprise, which will help provide tribal members with greater financial stability and self-reliance. These compacts are certainly a win-win-win for the tribes, the State and the community of Barstow."

The Los Coyotes have also agreed to forgo development of a casino gaming facility on their reservation property in San Diego County. As a result, both tribes will have the opportunity to benefit from the economic development opportunity allowed to other tribes in the state, but they will do so in a way that helps to consolidate the number of locations in which Indian gaming will be permitted in the state.

"We would also like to thank Mayor Lawrence Dale, the Barstow City Council, past and present, and the thousands of Barstow residents who signed cards to the Governor supporting the project," said Los Coyotes Council Member, Kevin Siva. "Their support was our strength in these negotiations."

Now that the compacts have been signed by the Governor, the tribes will go to the State legislature for approval. Each tribe is also applying to the Department of Interior to request that its portion of the land be taken into trust. Construction can begin once the applications have been approved.

The proposed Barstow Casinos and Resort will be a unique project integrating two separate casinos within one casino resort complex. Each casino will contain similar square footage and be joined together by a common area. The complex, which will provide visitors with double the gaming and resort options, features hotels, pools, spa/exercise facilities, restaurants, retail, entertainment and administrative offices. Uniquely positioned midway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, it is expected to attract more than 2.5 million visitors per year. The complex will provide 3,700 jobs, including 1,500 casino positions and 1,000 construction jobs.

"The City of Barstow is the ideal location for this project. City leaders and residents have expressed a strong desire to host a responsible tribal gaming project because it will create good-paying jobs and drive economic development," added Moorehead, Big Lagoon's tribal leader. "We're confident our project will meet and exceed the expectations of the Barstow community."

The Big Lagoon Rancheria was established in 1918. The tribe's members are descended from the Tolowa and Yurok Tribes. The reservation of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians reservation was formally established in 1889. Both tribes are federally-recognized.

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