Pauma Band awaits final ruling in gaming compact case

The Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians of California is waiting for a final ruling in its Class III compact lawsuit.

The tribe and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed a compact in 2004. It allowed the tribe to operate more slot machines in exchange for a bigger share of the revenues.

The tribe believes it was tricked into the deal because a compact previously signed in 1999 would have allowed more slot machines without a higher revenue-sharing rate. A federal judge has put the additional payments on hold while he makes a final decision.

The stakes are high. The tribe said it was was paying $315,000 a year under the 1999 compact, compared to $7.75 million a year under the 2004 deal.

"Since entering into the amended compact, we have overpaid more than $30 million," Chairman Chris Devers said in a statement to The North County Times. "We are eager to resolve this issue as soon as possible to safeguard the financial security of our tribe."

Tribes in at least three other cases have won rulings that said they each can offer up to 2,000 slot machines without sharing additional revenues. The Schwarzenegger is appealing the cases.

Get the Story:
Pauma wins interim decision against state (The North County Times 4/19)

Earlier Story:
Judge indicates he might invalidate Pauma casino compact (4/6)
Another California tribe wins case over slot machine cap (3/31)