Appeals court grants temporary gambling injunction

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jane Hull on Monday signed into law a ballot proposition approved by voters to expand Indian gambling.

However, Proposition 202 won't take effect until Hull gets the go-ahead from the state Supreme Court to sign gambling agreements with individual tribes.

On Monday, the high court was still considering whether to grant an injunction requested by horse and dog racetracks.

The tracks argue that Proposition 202 violates the state Constitution by granting tribes monopoly gambling powers and privileges not awarded to the general public.

Under 202, the number of slot machines would be increased, and casinos could add Las Vegas-style house-banked blackjack, which is not allowed under current compacts. In exchange, the tribes would give the state up to 8 percent of revenue, depending on how much the tribes take in.

Earlier on Monday, the Arizona Court of Appeals had issued a temporary stay barring Hull from signing agreements, giving the tracks time to file an appeal with the Arizona Supreme Court.

A ruling from the high court is expected Tuesday morning, court officials said.

Hull is required to sign the agreements approved in the initiative in order for the measure to take effect. Under the proposition, she has 30 days from Monday to do so.

Should the high court deny the injunction, Hull spokesman James Ahlers said she could sign the agreements as early as Tuesday.

On Friday, Superior Court Judge Robert Myers denied the tracks' request for an injunction, saying they didn't have a reasonable likelihood of succeeding in their case against the state.

In a separate case brought by the tracks, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals essentially preserved the governor's power to sign gambling compacts.

Proposition 202 was backed by 17 tribes. Two other gambling measures, including one that would have allowed racetracks to operate slot machines, were defeated on Election Day.


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