San Mateo City Council Opposes Casino Gambling Bill

The City Council is not going to budge in its opposition to a bill that would allow a new form of casino gambling at Bay Meadows Racecourse. That was the message Monday from a unified council, whose members were surprised to learn last week that Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, had authored a bill that would allow bettors at California tracks to wager on historical horse races. Mayor John Lee said the council’s opposition to AB 2409 stems from the fact that San Mateo voters rejected pro-gambling measures in 1995 and 2004.

Lee and other council members were also upset that Yee, who is the Democratic nominee to represent San Mateo next year as a state senator, did not confer with city officials before introducing the bill last Thursday.

“I can assure you we will vigorously oppose” AB 2409, Lee said. “I think this bill should be withdrawn and discarded. ” Yee’s bill was scheduled to be heard today by the Senate Governmental Organization Committee.

But Yee pulled the bill from the agenda after state budget deliberations heated up on Monday. The bill will not be heard until the state Legislature returns from recess on Aug. 7, said Yee spokesman Adam Keigwin.

South Dakota Supreme Court to Hear Video Gambling Appeal

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The state Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether a proposed law that would repeal video gambling will be placed on South Dakota’s fall ballot for a statewide vote. The high court will hear the appeal directly, which means supporters of the ballot measure will not have to go to circuit court first. The direct appeal will lead to a final decision before ballots and other documents must be prepared for the November election.

On May 30, Secretary of State Chris Nelson decided not to place the video lottery appeal on the November ballot after receiving a legal opinion from Attorney General Larry Long. The attorney general said a 1995 state Supreme Court decision found that an initiated measure cannot be used to repeal an existing law.

But Daniel K. Brendtro of Sioux Falls, sponsor of the video lottery measure, is asking the Supreme Court to order Nelson to put the proposed gambling law on the ballot. Long had urged supporters of the video lottery measure to seek a court ruling because the state Supreme Court has the final say in interpreting the language of the South Dakota Constitution.

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