Saturday, May 5, 2007

Delay on security could delay Pechanga Compacts.

SACRAMENTO – Hopes for quick agreement on a new set of uniform security rules for California's nearly 60 Indian casinos have been dashed by resistance, if not outright opposition, from a large number of the state's tribes.

After what some participants described as a stormy session of a tribal-state association on Wednesday, the group agreed only to reconvene two months from now to form a task force on the matter.

That will prevent the California Gambling Control Commission from formally considering any new internal casino standards until after the Legislature is set to adjourn for the year on Sept. 14.

The open-ended delay could make it more difficult to ratify expansive new gambling agreements, or compacts, for five powerful Southern California gaming tribes, including Sycuan of El Cajon and Pechanga of Temecula.

The big tribes are among those pushing development of state guidelines to replace more than 100 pages of federal standards tossed out by federal courts. Assembly Democrats say the regulatory void must be filled before the compacts are approved.

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