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Rincon Decision on Court Hold

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May 13, 2008

SAN DIEGO - The Rincon Indian band wants to add more slot machines to Harrah's Rincon casino, and believe the state's requirement to share the profits is an illegal tax. Last April U.S. Judge William McCurine Jr. agreed and found Gov. Schwarzenegger had negotiated in bad faith by demanding a share of revenues without offering something of value in return. In his decision the judge ordered Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rincon Indian Band to negotiate a new deal by July or he would appoint a mediator.

The governor's lawyers appealed the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal last week, and filed an emergency request for Judge McCurine to stay his decision.

The judge agreed and granted a temporary stay. However, he gave both parties until the end of the month to brief him on whether he should extend the stay until the appeal is decided.

The state lawyers said a forced negotiation before an appeal decision on the "bad faith" issue puts the state at a disadvantage that could lead other tribes to also expand their casinos in an "uncontrolled" manner.

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