Chemehuevi Tribe to resubmit bid for off-reservation casino

The Chemehuevi Tribe owns and operates the Havasu Landing Resort and Casino in Havasu Lake, California, about 180 miles from Barstow. Photo from Facebook

It looks like the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians is gaining some competition for an off-reservation casino in Barstow, California.

The Chemehuevi Tribe will be resubmitting a land-into-trust application for a 40-acre site in the city, Chairman Charles Wood wrote in an opinion piece published by The Desert Dispatch. The tribe already operates on its reservation and Wood said the Class III gaming compact authorizes a second facility.

"[W]e are one of only three federally recognized tribes who have ancestral, historical ties to Barstow and the larger Barstow area," Wood wrote.

The tribe will be pursuing the casino under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. If the Bureau of Indian Affairs approves the project, the state governor will have veto authority.

A sign at the site in Barstow, California, where Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians wants to build an off-reservation casino. Photo from Barstow Casino and Resort

The Los Coyotes Band is following the same procedure for its proposed $160 million Barstow Casino and Resort. The BIA issued the environmental impact statement in April 2014 but hasn't made a final decision.

Under the two-part determination process, neither the Chemehuevi Tribe nor the Los Coyotes Band are required to demonstrate an aboriginal or historic connection to their proposed gaming sites. The Chemehuevis, however, have repeatedly questioned the Los Coyotes Band's ties to Barstow.

The Chemehuevi Tribe operates the Havasu Landing Resort and Casino in Havasu Lake and plans to open another facility in the same area that will include a hotel, Today's News-Herald reported. Havasu Lake about 180 miles from Barstow.

Get the Story:
Charles Wood: Resetting the record straight on casino (The Desert Dispatch 8/13)

Federal Register Notice:
Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Proposed Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeňo Indians 23-Acre Fee-to-Trust Transfer and Casino-Hotel Project, City of Barstow, San Bernardino County, California (April 18, 2014)

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