Big Sandy Rancheria remains optimistic on plan for second casino

Gaming machines at the Mono Wind Casino in Auberry, California. Photo from Facebook

The Big Sandy Rancheria in California remains optimistic on plans for a second casino.

The project has been in the works for more than a decade. It would be located on a 40-acre site known as the McCabe Allotment and would be much larger than the tribe's existing casino.

The property is already in trust and plans originally called for the tribe to lease the allotment from its owner. Although nothing has happened since the Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a draft environmental impact statement back in January 2011, Chairwoman Elizabeth Kipp insists the casino is still on the table.

"It is not dead," Kipp told The Fresno Bee.

The casino is controversial because the allotment is about 12 miles from the border of the reservation. Still, the National Indian Gaming Commission said it would qualify for gaming in an advisory opinion from September 2006.

But the tribe has seen recent setbacks. An effort to include the property in a land consolidation plan was rejected by the BIA and the Interior Board of Indian Appeals upheld the decision in February.

The allotment is near the reservation of the Table Mountain Rancheria, which operates the Table Mountain Casino. The tribe opposes the Big Sandy casino and recently purchased a ranch that was to supply water for the project. p>

"We have other plans for (a) water source," Kipp told The Bee in response.

Separately, the Big Sandy Rancheria is being sued for $572,699 by a developer who loaned the tribe money for the Mono Wind Casino, the paper reported.

Get the Story:
Friant-area Indian casino plan having difficulties moving forward (The Fresno Bee 6/28)

Interior Board of Indian Appeals Decision:
Big Sandy Rancheria Band of Western Mono Indians v. Acting Pacific Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs (February 19, 2016)

Federal Register Notice:
Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Big Sandy Rancheria Band of Western Mono Indians' Proposed Casino and Resort Project, Fresno County, CA (January 14, 2011)

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