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Schwarzenegger States Urban Casino Opposition

19 May 2005

CALIFORNIA – As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle: "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger formally stated his opposition to urban casinos Wednesday in a way that most likely signals the death knell for fledgling efforts by various Indian tribes to bring Las Vegas-style gaming to the Bay Area -- with one notable exception.

"Until releasing a proclamation on Indian gaming Wednesday, the governor had said his opposition to urban casinos largely in piecemeal fashion, and often in defense of the controversial casino compact he crafted with the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians to create a 2,500-slot casino in San Pablo. His statement does not alter his support for that deal, which has long lacked needed votes in the Legislature.

"But it is significant for stating formally for the first time that Schwarzenegger will advise the Department of Interior to not take land into trust for any other Indian tribe intending to build a slot-machine casino in an urban area. A governor's disposition weighs heavily in whether federal officials approve a casino proposal.

"Further, Schwarzenegger said he would not craft a deal for other casinos in advance of their receiving trust land from the federal government -- and then only after demonstrated support by local governments and their communities 'such as by local advisory vote.'

"…The Lytton casino project is a notable exception. It is the outgrowth of a bill by Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, which in 2000 designated the San Pablo cardroom it owns as federally trusted land. The bill circumvented the type of approval process Schwarzenegger's proclamation addresses, and the governor has said repeatedly that he crafted a casino deal with the tribe only because he was obliged to do so by Miller's legislation…"

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