Sycuan and Arnold Schwarzenegger pulled a fast one on the people of California, saving them $30 million and costing the state $30 million. ARNOLD KNEW and he let it happen, worse he sold US the snake oil.
The Sycuan band's decision to put off ratification of its new gambling agreement has saved the El Cajon tribe millions of dollars, but it may be about to backfire.
The compact permitting up to 5,000 slot machines on the tribe's East County reservation has been approved by the Legislature and the U.S. Interior Department, which has the final say.
But all of that happened before the Schwarzenegger administration quietly disclosed a few months ago that the tribe, relying on a little-noticed provision in its new compact, had not executed the deal. OP: Quietly = guiltily
The delay will cost the state at least $30 million in higher payments expected from Sycuan, an administration spokesman said.
Now, at the request of Sycuan's neighbors and a gambling watchdog, federal attorneys are taking a hard look at whether the Interior Department could legally approve a gambling agreement that had not yet been executed by the tribe. OP: That is like signing blank checks. Or giving an A on homework they didn't look over.
If they conclude the answer is no, the federal government's approval could be revoked and Sycuan could be forced to resubmit the deal to the Interior Department if and when it is ratified by the tribe.
That would give federal officials, who were troubled by the agreement's authorization of an off-reservation casino in Dehesa Valley, their first real opportunity to review the compact.
Sycuan's was one of four big new gambling agreements that Interior was forced to automatically approve in December after the compacts reportedly got lost at the agency and were not found until after a 45-day review period had passed.
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