Timbisha Shoshone Tribe secures approval to buy land for casino

The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe hopes to build a casino at this site along North China Lake Boulevard in Ridgecrest, California. Image from Google Maps

The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe of California has taken another step toward a casino.

The tribe won approval on Wednesday to buy about 24.6 acres from the city of Ridgecrest for the casino. Although the sale was controversial -- it passed the city council by 3-2 vote, The Ridgecrest Daily Independent reported -- Chairman George Gholson said he was grateful for the local community's support.

"We want safe, good entertainment," Gholson wrote in a post on Ridgecrest Timbisha Casino Working Group, a pro-casino forum on Facebook. "I felt safe at every Indian casino I have ever been at and that is what we want."

The tribe and the city have already entered into an intergovernmental agreement for the planned casino. The facility would be located near the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

The tribe's reservation is based in Death Valley National Park, about 122 miles from Ridgecrest. But development options are extremely limited there due to restrictions in federal law.

The Timbisha Shoshone Homeland Act anticipates that the tribe might indeed look elsewhere for land. A provision requires the Bureau of Indian Affairs to work with the tribe on selecting a "parcel mutually agreed upon" that can be placed into trust.

The tribe plans to submit a land-into-trust application for the gaming site to the BIA>

Read More on the Story:
Casino land sale approved 3 to 2: Breeden struggles visibly with vote (The Ridgecrest Daily Independent 9/8)

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