Enterprise Rancheria on track to debut gaming facility next year

Artist's rendering of the Fire Mountain Casino. Image from Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria

The Enterprise Rancheria of California expects to open its long-awaited gaming facility in April or May of 2017, The Marysville Appeal-Democrat reports.

The tribe broke ground on the Fire Mountain Casino in April. The 140,000 square-foot facility is located on a 40-acre site that the Bureau of Indian Affairs placed in trust in December 2012.

The tribe pursued the casino under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Both the BIA and the Gov. Jerry Brown (D) approved the project as part of a process that took 14 years.

The tribe is still trying to overcome one more hurdle -- a new Class III gaming compact and a federal judge has ordered the state to come to to the table and negotiate an agreement. Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria v. State of California.

But rival tribes with existing casinos are hoping Congress will step in and prevent Class III gaming at the site. H.R.5079, the California Compact Protection Act, specifically targets the Enterprise Rancheria and another California tribe.

"When Congress enacted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, it provided a difficult process to allow landless Indian tribes such as ours to be treated as equals with tribes with land by being able to engage in gaming on newly acquired trust lands in very limited and specific circumstances," Enterprise Rancheria Chair Glenda Nelson wrote in a May 13 opinion. "Our Tribe followed that process to the letter of the law and we have conducted ourselves with dignity, honesty and integrity throughout that process."

H.R.5079 has not been scheduled for a hearing at this point.

Get the Story:
Casino construction moving forward; spring ‘17 opening eyed (The Marysville Appeal-Democrat 6/2)

Tribal Leader Opinions on H.R.5079, the California Compact Protection Act:
Maryann McGovran: Don't be fooled by efforts of 'wealthy' tribes (5/13)
Claudia Gonzales: Off-reservation gaming fuels attacks on tribes (5/13)

Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents:
Press Release | Fact Sheet | Two-Part Determination Letter

Federal Register Notice:
Land Acquisitions; Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California (December 3, 2012)

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