No forced casino deal for Rincon

A federal judge who earlier said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger negotiated in bad faith with the Rincon Indian band will not force the state into new negotiations with the tribe, for now.

Judge William McCurine said Tuesday that the two sides can wait until an appeals court rules on his decision that the state can’t legally demand a cut of casino profits when negotiating with tribes that want to expand gambling.

He rejected the tribe’s request for a USD 101 million bond.

But he said his stay of his earlier order that the two sides reach an agreement within 30 days depends on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreeing to fast-track the case and issuing its own stay.

Rincon tribal leaders say they want to expand the tribe’s 1,600-slot casino, operated by Harrah’s, in order to better compete with larger casinos, but have been unable to reach a deal with state negotiators.

The tribe won’t agree to send a share of the casino profits into the state’s general fund, a common feature of the compacts the governor has signed since taking office.