LINCOLN (CBS13) — The California Public Utilities Commission made it clear to CBS13 on the phone and in a written statement that Thunder Valley Casino was illegally operating its buses without a license.

When CBS13 dug into the matter with Thunder Valley, the PUC changed its stance and said the casino was in compliance.

Thunder Valley spokesman Doug Elmets says this hopefully brings an end to a four-month ordeal the casino has had with the regulator.

Every day, 17 buses drive to and from the casino providing a free ride for hundreds of gamblers.

The PUC said originally that the casino had been operating 17 buses that transport gamblers to the casino for free illegally since February. CBS13 went to Thunder Valley looking for answers.

There we found a bewildered Elmets with pages and pages of paperwork, including certified letters to the regulator, showing it wasn’t their fault.

“It’s a bureaucratic nightmare,” he said. “We’ve provided every document, made every payment. We’ve done everything exactly as they required.”

Thunder Valley says it’s the PUC who needs to get organized and approve the licensing.

“It’s on their end, they’re the ones that are dysfunctional.”

In the middle of our interview, the PUC called Thunder Valley management, saying their license was active.

A PUC spokesman said they can’t explain why the confusion happened.

But after two days of CBS13 asking questions, it seems the four months of confusion is finally cleared up.


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