Chukchansi Tribe sued for $21M by gaming development company

The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians owns and operates the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold, California. Photo: Wayne Hsieh

The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians is being sued by a development firm that helped the tribe reopen its casino in California.

The tribe was forced to close the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in October 2014 due to an internal leadership dispute. It reopened 14 months later as part of a settlement with the National Indian Gaming Commission, a federal agency.

According to Osceola Blackwood Ivory Gaming Group of Florida, the tribe should have submitted a management agreement to the NIGC after the casino reopened. The deal would have entitled the firm to receive 30 percent of net revenues from the facility.

But the tribe never sought the agency's approval, a lawsuit filed in federal court alleges. As a result, the firm said it lost out on an estimated $21 million.

"Without OBIG’s critical consulting services and OBIG’s willingness to assume the financial risk of not being paid for its services unless and until the casino reopened, the casino would not have reopened," the complaint alleges.

The tribe has not yet responded to the lawsuit. But an attorney told The Fresno Bee that the claims were frivolous.

“We don’t think that the complaint has any merit whatsoever,” attorney John Peebles told the paper.

Turtle Talk has posted the complaint in the case, Osceola Blackwood Ivory Gaming Group v. Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians.

Read More on the Story:
Resort management firm says Chukchansi tribe owes it $21 million for helping reopen casino (The Fresno Bee 3/21)

National Indian Gaming Commission Documents:
Settlement Agreement SA-15-01 | NOV-14-03 / TCO-14-02 | TCO-14-01 | TCO-14-01

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