GOP: Slot machines could help save state budget

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OLYMPIA (AP) -- Republican legislative leaders want to let nontribal casinos offer the same slot machines as tribal casinos, with the cash-strapped state receiving a cut of the revenue.

Advocates say it would bring in nearly $160 million next fiscal year and $380 million in the subsequent two years. Lawmakers have gathered in Olympia for a special session, looking for ways to deal with a $2 billion budget deficit.

Republicans say they want to help level the playing field for small, nontribal gambling halls that compete with tribal casinos. Democrats, who control the Legislature, aren't thrilled with the idea and Gov. Chris Gregoire tells The Seattle Times she doesn't see the proposal going anywhere. The tribes say they will fight any legislation that tries to break their monopoly on electronic gambling machines.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com