YUBA COUNTY (CBS13) – Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday concurred with the Department of the Interior’s decisions to allow 40 acres in Yuba County to be placed in trust for an Indian casino, ending a 10-year process for the tribe to be granted approval.
In 2002, the Oroville-based Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria first proposed the casino be built near the Sleep Train Ampitheatre on Forty Mile Road off Highway 65 near Wheatland. It’s been an uphill battle ever since, with competing casinos opposing it, critics questioning the tribe’s right to the land in Yuba County and residents voting against it in a non-binding ballot measure in 2005.
The compact includes provisions to protect employees and patrons as well as measures to protect the environment during the construction and operation of gaming facilities, Brown’s office said in announcing the decision.
In a letter announcing his decision to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth L. Salazar, Brown said the unique situation of the Maidu Tribe is unlikey to set a precedent for what critics call “reservation shopping.”
“I expect there will be few requests from other tribes that will present the same kind of exceptional circumstances to support a similar expansion of tribal gaming land,” Brown wrote.
The tribe has argued it has historical ties to Yuba County and that its own land isn’t suitable for building a casino.
The compact allows the operation of 2,000 slot machines. The tribe estimates that the project will create about 1,300 construction jobs and 1,900 jobs at the new facility. It says Yuba County will receive $5 million annually to fund safety, education and other public programs.
The $140 million project will include the casino, a 170-room hotel and pool, restaurants, bar, gift shops, tourist information and conference facilities, gaming and more, the tribe has said.