Enterprise Rancheria awaits action on Class III gaming compact

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

The Enterprise Rancheria of California is getting closer to a Class III gaming compact.

A federal judge ruled that the state failed to negotiate an agreement "good faith" as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. A mediator has since chosen the tribe's version of a proposed compact.

If the state does not consent to the compact by Tuesday the mediator will forward the agreement to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, according to a filing in federal court. The agency will then decide whether to issue Class III gaming procedures for the tribe.

"Nothing official to report yet but hope we have something in the near future," tribal spokesperson Charles Altekruse told The Marysville Appeal-Democrat.

If the state does not consent and the BIA takes action, the Enterprise Rancheria would be one of the first in California with Class III gaming procedures. But rival tribes are asking Congress to pass H.R.5079, the California Compact Protection Act, in hopes of thwarting the effort.

The bill has not received a hearing and has drawn considerable scrutiny in Indian legal and political circles. The provisions were written narrowly in order to single out the Enterprise Rancheria while ensuring that tribes with existing compacts won't be harmed when they return to the negotiating table.

The Enterprise Rancheria 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 casino is due to open in April or May of 2017.

Get the Story:
Casino compact deadline moved to Tuesday (The Marysville Appeal-Democrat 7/2)

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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