Lyttons drops casino bid

Mar 22, 2005 4:38 AM

With mounting pressure from both state and federal lawmakers, the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians has abandoned plans to convert a card club in San Pablo, Cal., into a full-fledged casino

The tribe had negotiated a compact with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to convert the urban card club into a Las Vegas-styled casino with as many as 5,000 slot machines provided it paid the state 25% of its revenues. Both the urban location and its size generated massive objections from local politicians who objected to the tribe operating a casino across the bay from San Francisco and from federal lawmakers who objected to a tribe using a non-reservation site to establish a casino.

The landless tribe became eligible for the casino through a legislative action of Congressman George Miller. But even Miller acknowledged that he never envisioned the tribe operating more than 1,000 slot machines.

In capitulating last week, Littton Band Chairwoman Margie Mejia wrote to Gov. Schwarzenegger that the opposition had doomed the project. She said the tribe would upgrade its existing 70,000 square foot card room without adding slot machines.