California | Casino Stalker
Los Coyotes Band still waiting for answer on off-reservation casino



The Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians is hoping to build a casino on 23 acres in Barstow, California. Photo: Barstow Casino and Resort

The Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians is still waiting for a decision on its proposed off-reservation casino in California.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued the final environmental impact statement for the Barstow Casino and Resort more than two years ago. The tribe was hoping for an answer by the end of 2016, The Desert Dispatch reported.

"They are reviewing the application in the BIA in Sacramento and we think they are going to be pretty close to being done there," attorney Heather Sibbison told the paper. "Then they will make a recommendation to the central office in Washington."

The tribe is pursuing the casino under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The law gives the state governor the final say over the project even if the BIA approves it.

But a new state court decision has cast doubt on the authority of the governor to concur with off-reservation casinos. That could pose another hurdle for the tribe going forward.

"The ruling that the governor lacks authority to grant off reservation gaming directly affects Los Coyotes' proposal in Barstow," Cheryl Schmit of Stand Up for California, the group that secured the court decision, told The Dispatch.

The casino would be located on 23 acres in Barstow, where it enjoys local support. The site is about 118 miles from the Los Coyotes Reservation.

Read More on the Story:
Court rulings target Indian casinos (The Desert Dispatch 1/3)
Lenwood casino odds remain a mystery (The Desert Dispatch 12/27)

California Court of Appeal Decision:
Stand Up For California v. State of California (December 12, 2016)

Federal Register Notice:
Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Proposed Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeňo Indians 23-Acre Fee-to-Trust Transfer and Casino-Hotel Project, City of Barstow, San Bernardino County, California (April 18, 2014)

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