Coquille Tribe still waiting for BIA on off-reservation casino

This aerial photo shows the location of the Coquille Tribe's proposed off-reservation casino in Medford, Oregon. The tribe is tearing down a former restaurant in the upper left corner. A coffee shop, a bowling alley with red awnings and a golf course can also be seen in the photo. The bowling alley is part of the land-into-trust application. The tribe plans to lease the golf course as part of the operation but it is not a part of the application. Image from Google Maps

The Coquille Tribe of Oregon started tearing down a building that it plans to use as part of a $26 million off-reservation casino.

Demolition of the former Kim's Restaurant in Medford began on Monday. It's part of a 2.42-acre site where the tribe plans to open a Class II facility.

The tribe is still waiting for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to make a decision on the land-into-trust application for the site. Until that happens, the casino remains in limbo.

"We're still waiting for the BIA to make the first move," spokesperson Ray Doering told The Medford Mail Tribune.

Generally, land placed in trust after 1988 can't be used for gaming. The Coquilles, however, are seeking an exception in Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that applies to tribes that were restored to federal recognition.

The tribe gained recognition through the Coquille Restoration Act in 1989. The law requires the BIA to place up to 1,000 acres in trust.

The tribe already operates the Mill Casino, a Class III facility. The site in Medford is about 186 miles away.

Get the Story:
Sign of the times (The Medford Mail Tribune 11/11)
Kim's building to be demolished; may be site for casino (The Medford Mail Tribune 11/7)
Demolition of Former Kim’s Restaurant Begins Monday (KAJO 11/7)

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