Friday, August 20, 2004

California Deal Authorizes Huge Casino Near Oakland

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 19 - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a deal on Thursday with an Indian tribe that authorizes construction of the largest urban casino in the country on the site of a former bowling alley across the San Francisco Bay from here.

The agreement, with the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, will create a casino bigger than any in Las Vegas or Atlantic City along a major commuter freeway in San Pablo, an economically struggling town about 15 miles north of Oakland.

The casino, if approved by the State Legislature and the Department of the Interior, could have as many as 5,000 slot machines, making it the third largest in the United States. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, both in rural Connecticut, have 6,600 and 6,200 slots.