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Rincon Indians Fight for 400 More Slots

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April 10, 2008

SAN DIEGO, CA - The Rincon Band of Mission Indians are fighting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in court and in the state senate to add 400 more slots to their Harrah's Rincon Casino & Resort. The would bring their total to 2,000.

Their conflict is over the statewide cap on the total number of slot machine licenses for Indian casinos under 1999 compacts. State gaming regulators say the limit is 32,151, the Rincon and several other tribes say that number is calculated wrong and should be higher.

The Rincon filed suit against Gov. Schwarzenegger, but it was thrown out by a federal judge in San Diego. In a turn of events, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed yesterday to hear the case. Their decision is expected in 3-12 months.

In the meantime California Senator Jim Battin, R-Palm Desert, has introduced legislation to increase the number of slot machine licenses to 122,000 statewide, and Rincon leaders have been invited to testify before a Senate panel in two weeks. If the bill is enacted, the Rincon will be able to operate 2,000 slot machines, as well other tribes that now have fewer than 2,000.

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