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February - August 2000
California Gaming News

14th August   California  Source: LV Sun
The expansion of Native Indian casinos in Southern California is set to bring 8,500 slots to the Palm Springs area in the Coachella Valley. According to an article in the Las Vegas Sun every tribe in the area, that is located around 150 km north west of San Diego has announced plans to develop casino facilities. Under the terms the terms of Proposition 1A each tribe being allowed up to 2,000 machines.
Southern California's desert casinos could get 20 percent of state's slots

1st August   California  Source: AP

    The expansion of Indian Gaming in California is leading to a number of controversies surrounding tribal membership. The Associated Press have a story on the Table Mountain Rancheria and the efforts by some to regain their status after being away from the reservation for 32 years.

19th July   California  Source: Press release

    Following the $250,000 jackpot at the Barona Casino, IGT put out an interesting release with statistics on Native American Progressive Systems (NAPS) in operation throughout the US. There are presently 2,493 slots in 100 Native American casinos across 13 states hooked up to the system. The operation being monitored by IGT's subsidiary Sodak Gaming in South Dakota.

18th July   California  Source: Press release

    It took only a few days but the Barona casino has announced its first jackpot winner on a wide area progressive. The $250,000 payout is the first such jackpot in California. The Quartermania, Megabucks and Wheel of Fortune progressives are linked to over 100 Native Indian casinos in 13 states.

15th July   California   Source: Press release

    The Barona Casino has announced the opening of their new 16,000 sq ft gaming floor. Ground breaking features including a "coinless" voucher printing system for 85% of the slots. High limit traditional banked casino games are now allowed in California following the passage of Proposition 1A. Previously there was a participation fee levied on each round of play. The Barona has added 20 new table games with stakes up to $5,000 on Blackjack.

8th June  California  Source: LA Times

    California Common Cause that had released a report stating that Governor Gray Davis had failed to declare donations from Indian Gaming Tribes has admitted that it was wrong. The donations made in 1998 and amounting to some $170,000 had been declared and the group is set to issue official apologies.

   The Los Angeles Times is proving to be a good source for information on the rapidly changing gaming landscape in the state. Follow the link for stories covered by the newspaper over the last six months.
LA Times News Stories Query "Casinos"

6th June  San Diego  Source: Los Angeles Times

    California Common Cause has released a report accusing candidates of failing to list some $395,000 in political donations from gambling interests between 1995 and 1998. Donations to individuals running for office totalled $15.8 million during the period with Indian Tribes heading the list of contributors.

   The Enchanted Sun that was offering day cruises from San Diego to Rosarito just over the border in Baja California, Mexico has folded. The operation that lasted just six weeks averaged only 250 customers per day. The venture was a partnership between the Viejas Indians and Commodore Holdings Ltd of Florida.

5th June  Chicago/California  Source: Press release

   WMS Gaming Inc., has announced today that it has commenced shipping slots to casinos in California. During the month of June the company plans to deliver more than four hundred units to various casinos in California including orders of 140 units to the Viejas Casino in Alpine and 136 units to the Spa Casino in Palm Springs.
WMS Gaming Reports On California Gaming Device Shipments

3rd June  California  Source: LA Times/Fox News

    As truck loads of slots manufactured in Reno, Las Vegas & Chicago rumble over the Sierra Nevada mountains the LA Times has an editorial on the expansion of Indian gaming in the state and highlights the fact that very few people are sure exactly how big the industry will become.
   Revenues from Tribal gaming are expected to grow to $4 billion over the next few years. Question marks hang over the number of slots allowed, is it the 45,206 mentioned in the pacts or considerably more. Also, what is the role of the State Government in legislation?.

Indian gaming, now generating some $10 billion in revenue in the US is also the subject of an article on Fox News focusing on one of the by products of tribal casinos.

25th May  California  Source: Press release

   The Barona casino, located on the outskirts of San Diego will have a "Coinless" system installed on 88% of the gaming floor after the completion of the $150 million expansion programme. The slots will accept coins and bills and on cash out a printed bar-coded voucher will allow credits to be played on other machines or to be redeemed for cash at the cashdesk.

24th May  California  Source: Press release

   Alliance Gaming Corp. parent of Bally Gaming and Systems has announced sales of its Slot Data System(SDS®) to Native Indian properties in California. 300 slots including the Thrillions® wide area progressive are expected to be delivered over the next 2 months.
The company already has a Native Indian Thrillions®  system working in Connecticut, Michigan and New Mexico.

24th May  Los Angeles  Source: Reuters

   A Safe that is thought to have been the property of gangster and Las Vegas pioneer Bugsy Siegel will be opened for the first time since 1947 in Los Angeles today. The location in the Formosa Cafe is believed to be where Siegel ran a prostitution business. The "cracking" is being performed by the grandson of the original installer.

30th April  San Francisco  Source: SF Chronicle

   Four San Francisco card clubs have written to the Secretary of the Interior that Indian tribes are getting preferential treatment under the terms of Proposition 1A. The argument is that any any laws that classify people due to race violate the constitution. The clubs see a severe threat to their future from expanded casino style gaming on Native Indian lands that will permit banker style table games and slots that are presently forbidden in the clubs.
Cardrooms Complain About Indian Casino Rights

28th April  Las Vegas  Source: AP

   The latest proposed multi million dollar Native Indian casino project is from the Twentynine Palms band of Mission Indians in Coachella, California. The tribe that has just 13 adult members is linking up with Trump Hotels & Casinos to build a 50 story $60 million gambling resort. Expansion of the tribes existing Spotlight 29 casino is expected to begin in the summer.

20th April  Las Vegas/California  Source: Mikohn Press release

   The Barona casino near San Diego has signed up to receive over $1 million in gaming equipment, electronics and displays from Mikohn. The casino that already has 1,000 video slots will undoubtedly be expanding to the maximum 2,000 allowed under Proposition 1A. Mikohn also announced that they now have a grand total of 150 supplier licences of which 32 come from separate US states and 99 Indian gaming tribes.

18th April  Valley Center, California  Source: Press release

   The latest multi-million dollar casino project announced in California since the passing of Prop 1A is from the 300 strong San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians in San Diego County. The tribe is establishing a partnership with the casino operating Tunica-Biloxi tribe of Louisiana. The plan is for a $180 million gaming & resort complex on tribal owned land near Escondido that will create in the region of 1,600 jobs.

9th April  San Diego   Source: LA Times/AP 

   The 56 strong Jamul Indian Tribe is planning a $100 million casino 20 miles east of San Diego. The proposed 2000 slot hotel will be built on 5 of the tribes six acres of land and has aroused opposition from local residents. 
LA Times "Casino" keyword search

6th April  California

The expansion of casino gaming in the state continues to attract the attention of the worlds press.
Gambling Ship to Sail With Slot Access Barred - Los Angeles Times 1st April.
The Enchanted Sun setting sail from San Diego to Rosarito Beach, Mexico on 18th April.
Lawmakers in California allow one-armed bandits a freer hand - 4th April.
A non too complimentary article detailing some of the planned expansions.
California tribe lowers gas prices as 'thank you'
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians lowered petrol prices to $1 and caused long queues at the pumps

20th March  Palm Springs  Source: Press release

    The 2nd Annual California Indian Gaming Summit has opened in Palm Springs. Organized by Gem Communications publishers of Indian Gaming Business it is the first trade show since the passing of Proposition 1A. Attendees including Tribal leaders, management companies, suppliers and manufacturers. Previous to the adoption of the constitutional amendment, gaming in "Nevada" style casinos was not permitted.

18th March  California  Source: AP/ABC News

    Residents in Placer County North East of Sacremento are opposing the building of a new casino by the 220 strong United Auburn Indian community. The $100 million, 200,000 square foot property would be expected to draw around 8,000 customers per day and have $80 million in annual revenues. Voters in the county voted 56% against Propostion 1A.

11th March  California 

   Checking up on the vote for Prop 1A at the official "Yes on 1A" website the almost final count with 99.9 precincts reporting was as follows; Total votes cast 6,654,758. Yes: 64.6% (4,295,280), No: 35.4% (2,359,478).

8th March  California 

Proposition 1A passes in California. Indian Casinos set for major expansion.
  Californian's on Super Tuesday voted  65 to 35 in favour of passing Proposition 1A, an amendment to the state constitution permitting an expansion of casinos on Native Indian land. The bill will allow Blackjack, Baccarat and sports books as well as a doubling of the number and style of slots to around 43,000. Proposition 5, originally passed in 1998, would have allowed unconstrained gaming on Indian land but was overturned by the California Supreme Court as breaking state laws that forbid Nevada style casinos. 
   Presently Indian casinos are thought to produce revenues of $1 billion but that is expected to rise over the next few years to $4.7 billion, almost matching the present revenues of the Las Vegas Strip. Indian tribes, according to statistics currently employ some 15,000 people (90% non tribal), a number that looks sure to increase substantially.
    Combined the tribes are thought to have spent $7 million promoting the passage of 1A. The anti 1A campaign centring on the argument that casino gambling will bring with it divisive problems and also environmental concerns over water usage and new development in rural areas.

Update: With 99% of the districts reporting the vote was 64.6% to 35.4% on 6,654,758 votes cast. Source:

1st March  Los Angeles  Source: Press release

    The potential impact on Nevada casinos by the opening up of casinos in California has been detailed in a new report - California's Indian Casinos: An Emerging Market Analysis.
   At the moment 39 of the 107 federally recognized Californian tribes operate casinos. Revenues are forecasted to grow from $1 billion per annum today to $4.7 billion in 2004.

21st February  California 

   On March 7th California voters go to the polls to vote on among other things Proposition 1A. This is the amendment to the state constitution to allow casinos on Native Indian Reservations.
    The original Proposition 5, after being approved by voters was overturned by the California Supreme Court 6 to 1 on the grounds that the state constitution outlawed "Nevada style" casinos. Should a yes vote result, experts believe that California will eventually become the gambling capital of the US.
    This scenario obviously is a controversial one both for the citizens of the state and the long established gaming operations in Nevada.