Tribal slots deal no jackpot for California

Second of two parts examining the effects of the economy on gambling in California.As California government verges on going broke, one long-promised elixir – Indian casino gambling – is proving to be not such a sure bet.Tribal revenue-sharing payments to the state will total a third less than expected this fiscal year and are expected to fall further short of projections for the following year, according to new state budget estimates.

He also announced he was opening the door – while still pushing hard bargains – for any tribe willing to pay the state to chase its casino dreams.But wealthy tribes with expanded casino agreements couldn’t meet growth expectations in the face of an economic downtown.And, with the exception of the Shingle Springs Miwok’s new Red Hawk Casino in El Dorado County, many tribes with 1999 state compacts spurned Schwarzenegger’s overtures.

Palmer, the governor’s deputy finance director, said the reduction in tribal revenue doesn’t alter that Schwarzenegger added an important long-term component to state revenue. »The administration is pleased with the compacts that we’ve been able to successfully negotiate, » he said.Schwarzenegger allowed the impoverished Yurok tribe in far northwest California to build a 99-slot roadside casino on Highway 1 in exchange for 10 percent of revenue of up to $50 million for a casino expected to make but a fraction of that.

Yet the tribe has yet to get its casino off the ground.He agreed to let the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians add 5,500 slot machines – on top of its 2,000 slots – in exchange for the tribe paying $45 million a year on its existing machines, plus 15 percent of revenue from the next 3,000 machines and 25 percent on the next 2,500 slots.

Source: http://www.sacbee.com/topstories/story/1554574.html

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