California Tribe to Break Ground on Class II Casino

A tribe in Northern California, whose Class III casino is tied up in the courts, plans to break ground soon on a Class II temporary facility that doesn’t require a compact from the state. The Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians plans to build a small casino in Yuba County

The Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians in Northern California plans to break ground on a casino in Yuba County sometime in the next two months, according to a federal court filing.

The temporary Class II casino would be about 10,000 square feet. It would not require a compact with the state. Although the Bureau of Indian Affairs put land into trust for the tribe in 2012, but that transfer is being contested in federal court by three other tribes.

Moreover, California Governor Jerry Brown has refused to negotiate a compact with the Maidu. This may be because of the failure of Proposition 48 last November that would have allowed the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians to build an off-reservation casino.

That tribe and the Maidu have sued Brown in federal court to force him to negotiate a compact as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

In the Maidu’s court filing the tribe’s attorney writes that Brown’s failure to negotiate “is likely to delay full build-out of the tribe’s Class III approved project for a substantial period of time.” Without a casino the tribe will lose revenue and incur further costs, says the document.