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California tribes split over gambling

29 January 2008

CALIFORNIA -- As reported by the California Press-Enterprise: "A decade ago, California's tribes joined forces to win voters' support of Indian casinos.

"Today, four prosperous tribes are pushing for a massive gambling expansion, and opinions among Indians are split. Two wealthy tribes are working aggressively to defeat the expansion plans. Some tribes have not taken a public stand.

"...If approved Feb. 5, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in the Coachella Valley, the Pechanga Band of LuiseƱo Indians near Temecula, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Banning and the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians near El Cajon will be able to add a combined total of 17,000 slot machines.

"Opposing the agreements are the Pala Band of Mission Indians in northern San Diego County and the United Auburn tribe near Sacramento, along with two horse tracks and the UNITE HERE union, which represents hotel and restaurant employees.

"...The four tribes lobbying for their amended gambling agreements argue that they'll be good for the state and other tribes. They tout the more than two dozen tribes in support of the agreements, known as compacts, and decry the opposition as sour grapes.

"The opposition argues that the deals are bad for California, could hurt other tribes and won't generate the kinds of dollars for the state that the supporters say they will..."

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