An appellate court in California has placed a hurdle in the way of Red Rock Resort’s planned casino close to Fresno, under legal tussle for the past 18 years.
The failure of a referendum across the state in 2014 prevented California’s governor from signing a gaming agreement with the Mono Indians’ North Fork Rancheria, according to a panel of three judges. The tribal community has signed a deal with Station Casinos, a subsidiary of Red Rock Resorts. The deal covers the development and management of a gaming project that is off the reservation worth $350 million to $400 million.
Unfortunately, the recent ruling by three judges put a hold on the California Supreme Court’s different decision, which gave the green light to the project. This ruling enabled Gov. Gavin Newsome to accept the US Department of Interior permitting the tribe to use the entire 305-acre area that is off the reservation for the casino business.
This competing ruling has left Red Rock Resorts casino plan in an uncertain state. After having signed prior management contracts—two in California and one in Michigan—the business is now without even a tribal gaming agreement.
According to Stephen Cootey, Chief Financial Officer of the Red Rock Resort, a ‘shovel in the ground’ will be used between the casino operator and the North Fork tribe. The company is thrilled to start the development of the casino on behalf of the North Fork Tribe.
Meanwhile, Elaine Bethel Fink, Tribal Chairwoman of North Fork Rancheria, released the statement that the tribe and the development partner- Station Casinos, are still not over the recent ruling.
Last month, Cootey said that the gaming operator had a good discussion with leading partners about using the finance for the casino’s purpose.
The North Fork Casino had planned for 2000 slot machines, two restaurants, and 40 table games. In the future, there will be hotel rooms and other facilities for the guests.
The Graton Rancheria Tribe’s seven-year management contract with Red Rock came to an end in February. The cash flow from Red Rock’s tribal operation was about $7.6 million in three months, a 56.8% drop.
The off-reservation area is located in the town of Madera off-Highway 99, which is 42 miles from the tribe’s reservation and 30 miles north of Fresno.
North Fork has been facing several legal roadblocks to fulfilling its casino building plan. California is currently the largest state for the casino market. Its 70 tribal casinos produce around $9 billion annually.