Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to sign deals today or Thursday that will authorize at least five new Indian casinos in California and firmly establish his approach to future expansion of tribal gambling.
Among the “sure thing” tribes is the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, a tribe with Sonoma County roots that wants to build a mega-casino just off Interstate 80 in San Pablo. As envisioned, the casino would become the largest in California and one of the largest in the world, with up to 5,000 slot machines and covering up to 600,000 square feet.
The casino would be operated for the tribe by a partnership that includes the Maloof family, owners of the Sacramento Kings and the Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas; the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians, a Yolo County tribe that owns the Cache Creek Casino Resort; the Pala Band of Mission Indians in San Diego County; Arlen Opper, a Cache Creek executive; and Jerry Turk, the managing partner of the Pala casino.
In an interview Tuesday, George Maloof said his family had been friends with Opper for a long time and also had close relations with the Rumsey tribe.
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