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Pauma Indians Propose Big Casino in North County

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

The Pauma Band of Mission Indians wants to build a new resort and expand its gambling operations in Northeast San Diego County. A tribal gaming expert says the casino will have to do something special to attract gamblers. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has the story.

The Pauma Band wants to build a 23-story, 400-room hotel as part of a new casino-resort on tribal lands near Highway 76. The tribe already operates a modest casino. But the proposed 66-acre resort project would put it on a par with three Indian gaming resorts a few miles away.

Randy Baker is the chair of the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming at San Diego State University. He says the Pauma's will have to come up with some sizzle to compete with those other casinos.

Baker : Their biggest challenge will be to differentiate themselves from Rincon and Valley View and Pechanga. I have no idea how they propose to do that. Obviously they're going in a big way. I hope they don't put up a standard box that's just another boring casino that looks like every other one.

The Pauma tribe has scheduled a public meeting later this month on the proposed resort.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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