Casino Stalker
Chemehuevi Tribe waits on off-reservation casino

The Chemehuevi Tribe of California is waiting for President Barack Obama to complete his team at the Interior Department before submitting an off-reservation casino application.

Chairman Charles Wood said the tribe wants to know if the new team will change a controversial "guidance memorandum" that was issued by the Bush administration. The memo makes it nearly impossible for tribes to acquire land for casinos away from existing reservations.

The memo was used to reject tribe's proposed casino in Barstow. The gaming site is about 136 miles from the reservation.

The Bush administration also rejected a joint off-reservation casino sought by the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians and the Big Lagoon Rancheria. The Los Coyotes Band has since submitted a revised application in hopes of a favorable ruling by Obama's team.

In a related issue, the Chemehuevi Tribe and the Los Coyotes Band both say they won't be affected by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, citing federal contacts prior to 1934.

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Supreme court ruling could affect Barstow casino proposals (The Desert Dispatch 3/5)