Chumash Tribe defeats lawsuit that sought to halt casino expansion

A view of the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California. Photo from Facebook

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians of California continues work on a $160 million casino expansion project.

The tribe is adding a 12-story hotel tower with 215 rooms to the Chumash Casino Resort. There will also be 75,000 additional square-feet of gaming space, a 20,000 square-foot pool deck, new food and beverage venues and a parking garage with 584 spaces.

An opposition group called Save the Valley filed suit in federal court in hopes of stopping the project. The complaint argued that the reservation was not set aside in the early 1900s despite the existence of a deed establishing a "permanent" home for the tribe.

This artist's rendering shows the hotel tower at the Chumash Casino Resort. Image from Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

Judge R. Gary Klausner dismissed the lawsuit last week. He determined that the tribe enjoys sovereign immunity and said the group failed to include the federal government, which also enjoys immunity, in the suit.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Save the Valley v. Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

Get the Story:
Court dismisses suit against Chumash (The Lompoc Record 7/6)

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