Bingo Deal Reached in California

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SACRAMENTO -- California's gaming tribes and the Catholic Church have struck a compromise on a bill that would allow simulcasts of conventional bingo while outlawing bingo machines almost everywhere except on Indian reservations, a prominent lawmaker and tribal representatives said Monday.

"I think at this point we have addressed basically everyone's concerns," said Sen. Gil Cedillo, a Los Angeles Democrat who will co-author the bipartisan legislation with Sen. Jim Battin, R-Palm Desert.

Most of the state's charities and nonprofits are expected to support the bill, but a smaller group of those that have generate much of their income from bingo machines opposes it.

The measure's fate, however, may hinge on whether supporters can satisfy incoming Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat who briefly carried a bill to legalize bingo machines that are a major revenue source for one of his local charities.

Steinberg was noncommittal Monday, saying he had not yet reviewed the compromise language.

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