BIA disapproves Scotts Valley Band off-reservation casino plan

The Obama administration rejected an off-reservation casino proposed by the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians of California.

The tribe submitted a land-into-trust application for a site in Richmond, about 80 miles from its headquarters. The tribe wasn't able to demonstrate a historical connection to the land, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said.

“After closely reviewing the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians’ fee-to-trust application for a gaming facility in Contra Costa County, we determined that the Band’s parcels near the city of Richmond did not qualify as restored lands under IGRA’s equal footing exceptions because it could not demonstrate it had a significant historical connection to the site,” Del Laverdure, the acting assistant secretary of the BIA, said in a press release

The tribe was restored to federal recognition, the BIA said. Normally, that means the tribe could seek an exception in Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Section 20 regulations approved by the Bush administration in 2008 require tribes to demonstrate a modern connection, a historical connection, and a temporal connection to a proposed gaming site. The BIA stopped the analysis after determining the Scotts Valley Band didn't submit enough evidence to prove a historical connection to Richmond.

The tribe was one of two seeking to build casinos in the Richmond area.

Get the Story:
Federal government rejects Scotts Valley Indian casino in North Richmond (The Contra Costa Times 5/26)
Second Richmond Casino Dealt a Busted Flush (The Berkeley Daily Planet 5/26)
Casino near Richmond vetoed (The San Francisco Chronicle 5/27)
BIA Approves Ione Band’s Gaming Land Application; Denies Scotts Valley Band (Indian Country Today 5/27)