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Communities Ask Governor To Restrict Casino Impacts

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About a hundred representatives of 10 communities from across California are asking Governor Schwarzenegger to require Indian tribes to provide compensation for the impacts of booming casinos on traffic, crime and the environment.

Lost in gambling tribes´ success stories has been the harm to surrounding communities´ way of life, say opposition organizers who traveled to the Capitol from Palm Springs, Barstow, San Bernardino, Plymouth, Hesperia, Rohnert Park, Santa Ynez, and rural areas of the Alexander Valley, Humboldt and Tulare counties.

The California Nations Indian Gaming Association says several dozen tribes have agreements with their communities to pay “hundreds of millions of dollars” to offset casinos´ cost.

The first legal volley was fired in what could become a courtroom war to stop a proposed American Indian casino near Plymouth.

Amador County has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court seeking to overturn a municipal services agreement the Plymouth City Council approved with the Ione Band of Miwok Indians for the tribe´s proposed “world class” casino on 228 acres off Highway 49.

Accroding to the Stockton Record, the lawsuit, filed last week, claims the council abused its discretion by approving the agreement without first looking at its potential impacts on traffic, air pollution, crime and other issues.

The lawsuit states the agreement and the casino will hurt the environment as well as cause great financial damage to the county and its taxpayers. Lawsuit proponents and other casino opponents from Amador County were among those who rallied against tribal gaming Tuesday at the state Capitol.

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