Town Wins With Bingo - Wednesday 22nd of February 2006

SAN PABLO, California – As reported by the Contra Costa Times: "The cars file in and creep their way back way back, to the fence at the far end of the lot. A year ago, parking out there might have drawn suspicion. Now, early on a Friday evening, it's the only real estate left.

"…Through the sliding doors of Casino San Pablo, nearly all of the 805 electronic bingo games have bodies on stools in front of them, fingers slapping at their consoles.

"…Millions of dollars have washed over City Hall since the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians launched the games Aug. 1 and began drawing thick crowds to what was a sleepy card room.

"…Few predicted quite this much action not for games viewed as slower and less lucrative substitutes for slots. The city anticipated $6.6 million this fiscal year from its cut of Lytton gaming revenue under a 1999 agreement with the tribe. The actual figure will be closer to $9 million well over half of the city's general fund budget.

"…Meanwhile, the 280-member tribe is pulling in nearly $2 million per week in its first year with machines that it installed reluctantly, after the state Legislature last year curbed a revenue-sharing deal with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for a big Las Vegas-style casino

"…The result: nothing for the state or the county, but a boon for a city government that has long struggled to offer its 30,000-plus residents anything more than basic police service…"

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