California | Compacts
Big fight looms on California gaming referendum

The fight over four new gaming compacts could get even uglier, The Los Angeles Times reports.

A union and a racetrack owner are gathering signatures for a petition to put the compacts to a public vote. But the four tribes are countering with a campaign to convince people not to sign, or to withdraw their names from the petition.

"We're not looking for confrontation, we're just looking to inform the voters of California. . . . People should have the option to withdraw their names," Jacob Mejia, a spokesperson for the four tribes, told The Times.

The Unite-Here union and the racetrack owner are receiving financial support from the United Auburn Indian Community and the Pala Band of Mission Indians. The tribes say the new compacts will hurt smaller casinos.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation signed the compacts to add more slot machines to their facilities.

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Indian gambling battle brewing (The Los Angeles Times 8/28)