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California Casino Initiative Gets Slapped with Lawsuit

Yet another court has been dragged into the international casino disputes, and this time the scene of the battle is sunny California. A new local citizen group has filed a lawsuit to block an initiative related to the building of a casino. The group is assisted by the representing attorney of one of the tribes proposing a casino in Barstow. This announcement was made by Michael Yaki last Monday night at the Barstow City Council meeting. Yaki represents Los Coyotes and the new group called Barstow Citizens for Real Economic Development.

The initiative provided guidance for many aspects of the planned casino. It gave preference to the tribes within San Bernardino County for consideration of compacts. It required that a certain percentage of money be reserved for emergency responders and law enforcement. The initiative also founded a commission to oversee casino gaming issues. A casino zoning district in Barstow was created, specifying where casinos would be allowed to be built.

The Big Lagoon Rancheria and the Los Coyotes tribes previously signed a compact with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that stated they would be allowed to build and operate a joint casino and resort project in the city. Now that the court is involved, a final decision and ruling can only be speculative until the official one is assigned. Until then, the casino dilemma will continue between these two sides.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.