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2 Tribes Get Casino OK, Will Share Profit With State

September 10, 2003|Gregg Jones | Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gray Davis has reached agreement with two more Indian tribes that would allow them to open casinos in exchange for sharing 5% of their gambling revenue with the state, tribal and state representatives confirmed Tuesday.

The agreements are with two San Diego County tribes: the La Posta Band of Mission Indians and the Santa Ysabel Band of Diegueno Indians. The agreements, which are subject to approval by the Legislature, would allow each tribe to operate up to 350 slot machines.

In return, the tribes have agreed to negotiate with San Diego County on the environmental impacts of their casinos and to contribute 5% of the net revenue from their machines to the state general fund, said Davis spokeswoman Hilary McLean and Robert Rosette, a lawyer for the La Posta tribe.

"These are two tribes that have very difficult economic circumstances," McLean said. "These compacts will allow them to proceed with much-needed economic development."

Davis signed a gambling pact in August with the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians of Southern California, marking a breakthrough in his negotiations with dozens of tribes that are seeking either to build their first casinos or to expand existing operations. Davis has said his objectives in the talks are to address the environmental impacts of Indian casinos and secure money for the state.

Rosette said the La Posta tribe planned to open a small casino with about 200 to 250 slot machines along Interstate 8 east of San Diego.

Davis is continuing negotiation with dozens of other tribes.

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