Commission wants control of Cal slots

Jun 17, 2002 10:47 PM

Nobody can accuse the California Gambling Control Commission of standing pat.

The Commission voted to take control of allocating slot machines in a move that could settle the dispute concerning the state’s Indian casinos.

The San Diego Union-Âí­Tribune reported that the Commission agreed to validate licenses for 29,400 slots issued in private draws arranged by Indian tribes over the past two years.

The 29,400 slots represent 14,000 more than state attorney said were permitted under an Indian gambling compact signed in September 1999.

The Indian tribes were surprisingly silent over the actions of the Commission, according to the Union-Âí­Tribune story, and it was unclear how strong of a challenge will be made on the ruling.

A number of tribal leaders contend that the state cannot take over the allocations of slots.

The attorney general’s office and Gov. Gray Davis each believe the Commission controls the distribution process.

The state’s compact gave tribes one year to place slots in operation or return them to the pool.

Howard Dickstein, a tribal attorney who represents the Pala band in San Diego County, said it is time to allow the Commission to resolve the uncertainty.

"While, we don’t agree with every detail, we do believe that it is well thought out”¦and that it is done through a fair reading of the terms of a difficult document," Dickstein said.

The Commission will release its proposal at its next meeting June 19.