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BIA confirms Soboba Band can put casino at newly acquired site




A view of the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California. Photo from Facebook

Plans are still in the works but the Bureau of Indian Affairs has confirmed that the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians of California can move its casino to a newly acquired trust site.

Generally, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act bars gaming on land placed in trust after 1988. However, Section 20 provides an exception for land "contiguous" to an existing reservation.

According to a notice published in today's issue of the Federal Register, the 410 acres placed in trust on May 19 qualifies. That means the tribe can move the Soboba Casino to the new site.

"The Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs determined that the Tribe's request also meets the requirements of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act's “contiguous” exemption," the notice states.

The BIA published the the final environmental impact statement for the application in November 2013. The document envisions a 729,000 square-foot casino to be called Horseshoe Grande.

The tribe hasn't determined when it will start work on the new facility.

Federal Register Notices:
Land Acquisitions; Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians of California (June 3, 2015)
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians' Proposed 534-Acre Trust Acquisition and Casino Project, Riverside County, California (November 29, 2013)

Related Stories:
Soboba Band still working on plan to relocate casino to new site (6/1)
BIA issues final EIS for Soboba Band casino land-into-trust (11/28)