California | Casino Stalker
North Fork Rancheria off-reservation casino gets state approval

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians has joined a small group of tribes in winning approval for an off-reservation casino.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Friday concurred with the Obama administration's decision on the casino. The tribe plans a facility with 2,000 slot machine and 200 hotel rooms on a 305-acre parcel in Madera County, about 36 miles from its headquarters, according to a fact sheet from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"The tribe is delighted with this favorable decision and eager to complete the remaining approval steps. This announcement is important because it reaffirms both the positive economic impacts of the project to the local community and the tribe as well as the tribe’s historical connection to the proposed gaming site," the tribe said in a statement on its website.

The North Fork Rancheria still needs to clear the land-into-trust process before starting work on the casino. Brown's decision makes approval much more likely, the tribe said on its website.

Under the two-part determination section of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, only three tribes have won state and federal approval for an off-reservation casino since 1988.

The last time a state governor approved an off-reservation casino under the two-part determination section was in 2007. But in that case, the Bush administration rejected a land-into-trust application for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, so the project never moved forward.

Get the Story:
Brown OKs off-reservation casino for North Fork indians (The Fresno Bee 9/1)
Jerry Brown gives green light to two off-reservation casinos (The Sacramento Bee 9/1)
Gov. Brown approves North Fork's Madera casino (The Fresno Business Journal 8/31)
Governor Approves Madera Co. Casino Project (CBS47-TV 8/31)
Green Light for Madera County Indian Casino (KSEE-TV 8/31)
Brown approves 2 off-reservation casinos (AP 8/31)

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Chukchansi Tribe casino default raised in off-reservation battle (08/27)