October 6, 2009
SAN DIEGO - The California Gambling Control Commission licensed 400 more slot machines for Harrah's Rincon casino and 428 more slot machines for Valley View Casino yesterday following last month's federal court ruling that California miscalculated the total number of slot licenses to be issued under the 1999 Indian gaming compacts. Both casinos can now increase their slot machines to 2,000 each.
However, this action may be stopped by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who disagrees with the court ruling and has filed an appeal. Yesterday a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way to issue 10,549 new slot licenses statewide over the governor's request to wait. The court is scheduled to hear the case in February.
"We still think we should win that appeal," said Jeff Macedo, a Schwarzenegger spokesman. If so, the additional licenses could be withdrawn, Macedo said.
Other regional tribes are ineligible for additional slot licenses because they have renegotiated their original agreements. This includes the Pala, Pauma, and Pechanga bands. The La Jolla Band of Mission Indians asked for 650 licenses but withdrew its request at the last minute, according to state officials.
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