California’s Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians and the Madera County Board of Supervisors are near to agreement on the details of a memorandum of understanding that could lead to the reopening of the Chukchansi Gold Coast Resort & Casino during the holiday season.
The Board of Supervisors were scheduled to hold a meeting this week to ratify the MOU. The MOU spells out that the tribe will repay the county for fire protection and emergency services, which the tribe has fallen into arrears in paying.
The federal government and the state forced the closure of the casino a year ago October. The county has supported reopening the casino because of the 1,300 jobs that it provided. The layoffs of those employees have significantly impacted the local economy.
Board Chairman David Rogers announced last week, “We are anticipating the long awaited conclusion to the negotiations with the tribe and ratification of the MOU. This is another step forward in their journey to restart their operations, which is in the best interests of the tribe and the county.”
Casino COO Christian Goode added his own optimistic hopes for an agreement. “We have worked tirelessly with the tribe and the county to reach a fair and equitable arrangement,” he said. “We commend Chairman Rogers and Madera County, for being sensitive to the needs of the tribe and for recognizing how important we take the safety and security of the casino.”
Even if the county gives its approval, the tribe must also receive approval from the National Indian Gaming Commission and the California Attorney General’s office before reopening.