Has anyone seen any current news on the status of the proposed casino near San Francisco? I read that the tribe involved had agreed to reduce its size to 2500 slots, but I haven't read of any response by the legislature.
First we had a mega-casino with 5,000 slots. After loud howls from the Legislature, local politicians, community leaders and even Congressman George Miller who had made this casino possible with a rider on another bill in the House, the Lyttons and the Governor agreed to cut down the casino's size to 2500 slots. Miller said he wasn't thinking in terms of an eight-story building containing 5,000 slots when he got the job done.
The Legislature had until yesterday (Fri.) to get the compact ratified along with four other compacts. Both Republicans and Democrats took the reasonable position that something like an urban Las Vegas-style casino required more time for careful consideration than one or two busy days. They ratified the other four uncontroversial tribal compacts and went home. Some legislators would like the Governor to call a special session of the Legislature in September to consider the matter but Arnold has indicated he would not call the Legislature back. It comes back at the end of the year for a regular session and will take the matter up promptly then.
If a compact is not ratified within forty-five days of the Governor's signing, the tribes can go into federal court to get the job done there--if the judge thinks it necessary, he actually can impose his own compact on the parties--something the Governor and the Legislature would find aversive. The Lyttons have indicated they will not go into federal court before the Legislature has had time consider it near the beginning of next year. But it is clear that the Lyttons will get a casino of some size in San Pablo since the federal government essentially has an obligation to see to that.
So why am I pleased that the compact will be delayed a bit? To get the State's 25% from the Lyttons, Arnold agreed that in an exclusion zone within a radius of 35 miles from San Pablo, the Lyttons would not have to pay that 25% if any other casino was built. This is a huge populated zone where there would be no other casinos to buy IGT's slots. The zone covers the entire area along San Francisco Bay going north to south, from San Pablo to Palo Alto. It also would include all of San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Rafael and San Mateo (for those who know the Bay Area). So, in the entire Bay Area, only Casino San Pablo would be able to offer slots.
There are other tribes, including two within San Pablo's adjoining city (Richmond), where casinos are in various stages of the planning process. These tribes really would get screwed unfairly and they need the time to lobby the Legislature to require that the exclusion zone be dropped before they will ratify any compact. The badly-treated tribes also will need the extra time go into federal court to mount a challenge of the exclusion zone if the Legislature can't get rid of it for them. Arnold was trying to slip this stuff through in the frenzied last couple of days of the session. I still think the Governor is doing a great job overall but he was a very bad actor in this fiasco. His only motive was to get the money to bail CA out of its financial mess. (He also had gotten giant political contributions for his recall campaign from the lead investor in Casino San Pablo but let's not go into that now.) Let's hope that either the Legislature or the Court kills the exclusion zone.
The long-term investor, sooner or later, will derive the benefits of of a California that is swimming in slots
excellent post. You obviously are on top of this situation. What is up w/ the bill in Calif to allow slots at tracks. If I understand that correctly if it is passed the Indians will not give the money they said they would???what in your opinion would be best for IGT? also what is your opinion on the performance of this stock?..Thanks