Christian Goode Chosen to Resurrect California Casino

A former Genting top executive who decided to go off on his own, Christian Goode, has been chosen by the Chukchansi tribe of California to reopen its Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, which regulators ordered closed last October.

Former Resorts World Las Vegas General Manager Christian Goode has been chosen to resurrect the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino which California and federal regulators forced to close last October.

Goode, who resigned from Resorts World Las Vegas in January to form his own company Ivory Gaming, worked for gaming giant Genting Berhad for several years. He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “We’re interested in investing in start-ups. There are a lot of opportunities on the horizon.”

Bringing the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino back to life is the first such opportunity for Ivory Gaming. He will be COO for the casino and plans to reopen by Labor Day. Much of that depends on whether the Chukchansi tribe gets state and federal approval for reopening.

The casino is located in the Golden State’s gold country, near Yosemite National Park. When it was closed in October it had 1,700 slots and 40 gaming tables, a spa and several eateries.

When a feud between rival factions of the tribe led to an armed incursion in the casino state and federal authorities ordered the casino closed for public safety reasons.

An interim tribal government composed of the rival factions has obtained a $35 million loan to reopen the casino.

Some might call this a comedown for Goode, who was Genting’s top U.S. executive and brought the $800 million Resorts World New York online, but Goode claims he is returning to the kind of casino where he got his start.

Last week Goode told Action News, “We are excited because this is kind of the first step in reenergizing this facility and bringing back the economic engine that it was.” Goode was talking about holding a job fair to bring back the 1,000 or so workers who were let go when the casino closed.

Tribal Chairman Reggie Lewis ordered the job fair, which aroused the criticism of rival Chairman Monica Davis, who commented, “I think it’s too soon right now for him to be having a job fair, not to say the casino won’t open its just we have a federal court case we are still in the process of adjusting.”

The tribe is hoping to elect a new council in October, which could go a long ways towards determining who actually runs things.