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New California Bill To Add Slots and New Indian Casinos

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February 15, 2008

SACRAMENTO, CA - Sixty one California tribes signed gaming compacts with the state in 1999 legalizing 2,000 slot machines each. However, the California Gambling Control Commission has denied licenses to them with a complex formula that keeps the total number of slot machines around 60,000.

This week Sen. Jim Battin, R-La Quinta, introduced Senate Bill 1201 to remove this restriction and to grant licensing per the compacts. He estimates 7,940 more slot machines would be licensed to tribes around the state and allow many to expand their existing casinos or build new ones. This legislation is separate from the 17,000 slot machines approved by Propositions 94-97.

The tribes he identified are:

1,650 slots - Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians (San Diego County)
1,650 slots - Jamul Indian Village (San Diego County)
1,650 slots - Shingle Springs Rancheria (El Dorado County)
   400 slots - Rincon Band of Luiseņo Mission Indians (San Diego County)
   400 slots - Dry Creek Rancheria (Sonoma County)
   100 slots - Berry Creek Rancheria (Butte County)
     40 slots - Cabazon Band of Mission Indians (Riverside County)
The balance were not identified.

A spokesperson for the Gambling Control Commission said the commission plans to get a legal opinion on the bill.

A spokesperson for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said his policy team had not yet reviewed the bill.

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