Jamul Band defends legal rights in debate over $360M casino

Artist's rendering of the Hollywood Casino Jamul, a project of the Jamul Indian Village and Penn National Gaming.

The Jamul Indian Village of California is facing an attack on its status as a federally recognized tribe by opponents of a $360 million casino on the reservation.

The Jamul Action Committee claims the tribe was not "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934. That means the reservation wasn't validly placed in trust, the group said in a lawsuit against the National Indian Gaming Commission and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The tribe's lands were placed in trust starting about 1978. Normally, the deadline would have passed to challenge the status of those lands.

But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California changed the landscape. The court allowed the state of California to dispute the status of land placed in trust in 1994.

The Jamul Band, however, remains confident of its casino. Work started last month.

"Clearly, the law is on our side and we look forward to opening our gaming facility next year and finally being able to provide a greater quality of life for our people," the tribe said in a statement to KNSD-TV.

Get the Story:
Jamul residents hear update on court battle against casino (KSWB 2/6)
Lawsuits Filed to Stop Jamul Casino (KNSD 2/6)
Residents of Jamul fighting to put a stop to construction of controversial casino (10News 2/6)
Casino planned for Jamul finds huge opposition (The San Diego Union-Tribune 2/6)

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