Cal tribes race to derail slots

Aug 5, 2003 4:07 AM

California Indians are determined to stop the expansion of gaming at state racetracks.

"The tribes have to protect what is rightfully theirs," Jacob Coin, director of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association told Bloodhorse.com. "We have to do what we have to do."

The Thoroughbred Owners of California said last week that it would soon introduce legislation that would allow other forms of gambling at racetracks. Coin said that would violate a state constitutional amendment approved by the voters in March 2000 limiting new gaming to Indian lands.

Indian gaming, according to CNIGA, reported casino revenue at nearly $3.6 billion last year over 52 locations in the state. The tribes do not pay taxes on the gambling revenue they take in.

John Van de Camp, president of the TOC, believes that the timing is right for California to consider a new source of tax revenue. The state is facing a budget shortfall of nearly $8 billion next year.

Irish set odds on Davis

As if Gray Davis doesn’t have enough to worry about, an Internet betting site based in Ireland has odds out on whether he stays as governor of California.

Those willing to wager that Davis would be out of office as of Dec. 31 stand to win $3 for every $7 wagered. While those willing to bet that Davis would still be in office Dec. 31 stand to pick up $6 for every $4 wagered, according to TradeSports.com.

The odds on the site are set through an online future markets based on bets being placed by both sides. Barring some last-minute court stoppage, Davis would become the first governor of California to face a recall election Oct. 7.

Buffalo still open

The Seneca Nation has not closed the door on placing its second casino in Buffalo.

Tribal leaders met last week with Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello to hear a late pitch for a city casino site, according to the Buffalo News. Several potential casino venues were discussed.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs said the Senecas have the right to place a casino anywhere they want in Erie County. The tribe prefers the Cheektowaga area. The Senecas build their first casino in Niagara Falls.

Ensign blocks Santee

Nevada Sen. John Ensign has placed a hold on a bill in Congress that would have placed the Catawba Indian Nation under the jurisdiction of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The action dealt a setback to the Catawbas in their bid to establish a multimillion dollar, high stakes bingo operation near Santee, S.C.

"He (Ensign) did that at my request," U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, told the Orangeburg Times and Democrat. "We were classmates in the (U.S.) House ”” me, him and Mark." Mark Sanford is now governor of South Carolina."

Around the USA

LA: Harrah’s New Orleans Casino wants to build a 450-room hotel behind its parking garage, a plan that would require the demolition of four historically significant 19th century buildings... FLA: Antigambling and anti-dog racing groups are urging Gov. Jeb Bush to veto a measure they say would dramatically increase the stakes and hours in card rooms at dog and horse tracks... NM: The state is considering making a $60 million dollar loan to the Santa Ana Pueblo to help it maintain a resort, which includes an exclusive golf club and casino.