Gambling Bill Poses Threat, Council Says

The City Council has decided to take a stand against Proposition 5, a state ballot measure that would allow California's 107 Indian reservations to offer slot machines, lotteries, card games and other forms of gambling.

While the City Council unanimously expressed opposition to the proposition, members were divided on whether to pass a resolution expressing their opinion. In a 3-2 vote, they passed the resolution Monday night.

"It is our duty as elected officials to, sometimes, have an opinion and let the citizens know," said Mayor Mary Ann Jones, who voted in favor of the resolution.

The council invited representatives from both sides of the issue to speak at the meeting.

Branda Deeley, of the Coalition Against Unregulated Gaming, said the proposition would lead to unregulated, full-blown Las Vegas-style gambling.

Taking the other side, Anthony Miranda of the Pechanga Indian tribe said the measure protects Indian casino gambling; he added that he didn't see any possible effects on Cypress.

Council members disagreed.

Gambling is a huge issue in Cypress, home to the Los Alamitos Race Track, Councilman Tim Keenan said. Keenan introduced the issue last month.

Councilman Tom Carroll agreed. If passed in November, the measure could bring competition for the track and make room for a casino to move into the city, he said.

"Are we supposed to sit and be quiet about it?" Carroll asked.

Yes, answered council members Walter K. Bowman and Anna Piercy, who voted against the resolution.

"Let them make their own decisions," Bowman said.

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