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Governor Schwarzenegger Approves More Slot Machines In San Bernardino Indian Casinos

Goveror Arnold Schwarzenegger on August 29 announced that Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in San Bernardino County -- two of California's richest Indian tribes -- can now increase the number of slot machines in their casinos in exchange for billions in fees.

The two tribes have been allowed to operate 7,500 slot machines each. Currently, the Pechanga Band and the San Manuel Band has a limit of 2,000 machines each. Depending on the number of slots they decide to operate, the tribes' fees would increase.

The agreements were signed a day before Schwarzenegger's announcement to the media.

As early as now, the tribes have estimated their fees to reach $6.6 billion at most. Each tribe has also agreed to pay $2 million a year for tribes without casinos.

For its part, the Department of Finance estimated the new agreement could yield as much as $14.2 billion for the state until 2030, which is the length of the agreement.

Schwarzenegger made the announcement a day after the Assembly rejected a similar deal between the governor and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs.

Meanwhile, the Senate has given final approval to an agreement allowing the Quechan Tribe to operate up to 1,100 slot machines at a reservation casino in southeastern California. The Senate made the approval on August 29.


Friday, 15 September 2006
Darren G. Strachan