New California compacts face challenge at the polls

A diverse group of interests -- including labor unions, racetracks and some tribes - is considering a challenge to five new gaming compacts.

The state Legislature approved the compacts in June. The deals allow four of the wealthiest tribes in the state to add more slot machines to their casinos.

But the omission of labor-friendly provisions has union leaders ready to fight. And a change to the revenue-sharing structure has angered several tribes -- most of whom are represented by the same attorney -- who signed more stringent deals in 2004.

"We agreed to union components because it was important to the Legislature and imperative to the governor," attorney Howard Dickstein told The Sacramento Bee. "Then we find out that the policies for the 2004 compacts appear not so important to the governor now.

The tribes haven't agreed to back the proposed ballot referendum. But they have been discussing the idea with unions and other interests.

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Tribal slots pact facing challenge (The Sacramento Bee 7/22)