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Cal poll supports expansion

Nov 6, 2007 5:59 AM

A majority among more than 1,000 California voters surveyed believe Indian tribes should be allowed to triple the size of their casinos — including one just south of Temecula — according to a poll released last week.

Among 1,200 registered voters surveyed by Field Research, an independent polling firm, 52 percent said they would allow the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and three other tribes to add as many as 17,000 slot machines to the 8,000 already at their casinos.

Pechanga would be allowed to add 5,500 slots to the current 2,000. The new slots could be installed in a casino that Pechanga already has permission to build on its 5,500-acre reservation, which borders Temecula.

The Legislature has approved agreements, known as compacts, that four tribes negotiated with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, but a coalition of a hotel-workers union, a horse-track owner and other Indian tribes is trying to take the question to voters.