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Voters Seeking More Slots at Sycuan, Pechanga

California voters on Feb. 5 said they would like to see expansions at casinos on four American Indian reservations, including the one on the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation’s land near El Cajon.

The ballot propositions were referendums on deals negotiated between the governor’s office and the tribes. Under the deals, tribes would send more casino revenue to the state general fund. Measure proponents said the deals could be worth more than $9 billion to the state over 20 years.

Unofficial results released early Feb. 6 showed the four measures , Propositions 94, 95, 96 and 97 , passing with more than 55 percent of the vote.

Under the deal, Sycuan may have as many as 5,000 slot machines, up from 2,000.

The Pechanga band, near the San Diego-Riverside County line, would be able to have 7,500 slot machines on its reservation, up from 2,000.

Opponents, including the Pala Band of Mission Indians, have said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger could have negotiated a better deal benefiting all tribes, as well as local communities, the environment and workers.

Proponents argued the deals benefit those four constituencies.

, Brad Graves

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