Column: Casino industry lost big figure in Richard Milanovich

"Sometimes the intermingling of art and reality is just plain spooky.

Last week, two of the most important figures in California's gambling picture died within hours of one another.

Richard Milanovich, who as longtime chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians played a seminal role in creating California's multibillion-dollar tribal gambling industry, died in Rancho Mirage, near his tribe's two casinos, after a long bout with cancer.

Two days later, Rod Blonien, for many years the Capitol's most important lobbyist for horse racing tracks and poker parlors, was found dead at his home, apparently of a heart attack."

Get the Story:
Dan Walters: California art and reality intertwine over gambling issues (The Sacramento Bee 3/21)

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Services begin for Agua Caliente leader Richard Milanovich (3/20)