Scotts Valley Band mum on plans for potential gaming facility

The headquarters of the Scotts Valley Band are located at 1005 Parallel Drive in Lakeport, California. Image from Google Maps

The landless Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians hasn't commented on plans for a potential casino in northern California as opponents turn to the local media to stoke fears.

The tribe may have signed a deal with a developer to look for sites in the state's wine-producing region. The industry considers a casino a threat to their businesses and local officials say gaming is not compatible with the agricultural nature of the area.

The tribe previously sought a casino in Richmond but the Bureau of Indian Affairs rejected it in 2012. The tribe failed to demonstrate a connection to the site, which was about 78 miles from headquarters, the agency said at the time.

The new sites are potentially closer to home but none have been identified. The tribe would still need to go through the land-into-trust process and negotiate a Class III gaming compact, a process that could take years.

The tribe was restored to federal recognition in 1991. Normally that means the tribe could engage in gaming on newly acquired lands under an exception in Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Section 20 regulations approved by the Bush administration in 2008 require newly recognized tribes to demonstrate a modern connection, a historical connection as well as a temporal connection to a proposed gaming site. To qualify for the exception, a land-into-trust application must be submitted within 25 years of recognition -- the Scotts Valley Band appears to be running up against that deadline.

Get the Story:
Local groups meet to analyze casino threat (The Napa Valley Register 3/21)
Napa Valley Vintners Oppose Tribal Casino in the Area (Casino News Daily 3/21)
Napa winemakers won't gamble on a casino (ABC News 3/20)

Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents From 2012:
Letter to Tribe | Fact Sheet | Press Release

Related Stories
Scotts Valley Band rumored to be interested in casino project (3/20)
BIA disapproves Scotts Valley Band off-reservation casino plan (05/29)

Join the Conversation