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Amador Deadlock Triggers Countdown to Binding Arbitration

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March 14, 2008

JACKSON, CA - The surprise deadlock vote by Amador county supervisors triggered a seven day countdown to binding arbitration with the Buena Vista Band of Me-Wuk Indians for the casino they want to build near Ione.

The supervisors' deadlocked on the vote to approve a revised Intergovernmental Services Agreement with the tribe. The agreement dropped the tribe's demand that the county end a federal lawsuit to block the casino, and guaranteed the county an $18 million one-time payment plus $7.7 million a year to mitigate cost of public services impacted by the casino.

The tribe made other concessions that are not required by the 2004 state gaming compact with Governor Schwarzenegger. These include restrictions on where alcohol is served, drop plans to build a hotel, limit the casino to 1,650 slot machines instead of the 2,000 originally planned.

Both sides now have until March 19th to submit their proposal for arbitration. The county's proposal must plan for a casino. An arbitrator will be assigned to select one of the proposals in a process that will take 60-90 days. Construction of the casino could begin soon afterwards.

Amador county officials have repeatedly said arbitration could bring about $4 million less than the last offer by the Buena Vista Band of Me-Wuk Indians.

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