In California and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reportedly ruled against a group that has long been seeking to reverse the protective federal status earlier awarded to the Jamul Indian Village.
According to a report from CDC Gaming Reports, an organization known as the Jamul Action Committee (JAC) filed the first of its many legal actions some seven years ago as part of an attempt to have the small San Diego County tribe stripped of its federal designation along with its associated claim for the right to operate an aboriginal casino.
However, the source reported that this initial effort was subsequently thwarted in 2016 to leave the Jamul Indian Village free to ink a 25-year gaming compact with then-California Governor Jerry Brown in advance of opening its Jamul Casino in partnership with prominent American casino operator Penn National Gaming Incorporated.
The controversial JAC consists of residents from the rural southern California community of Jamul, which lies approximately 20 miles east of downtown San Diego, who have long been against the idea of their community hosting a tribal casino. Despite losing their opening legal attack, the members of this group purportedly continued to press the issue by repeatedly suing the tribe and Penn National Gaming Incorporated as well as the National Indian Gaming Commission and the United States Department of the Interior.
In dismissing the JAC’s latest lawsuit on Tuesday, the three-member United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reportedly ruled that ‘no tribunal’ had ever accepted its arguments and that the Jamul Indian Village should now be considered as ‘a federally-recognized Indian tribe with the same privileges and immunities including tribal sovereign immunity that other federally-recognized Indian tribes possess.’
Erica Pinto, Chair for the Jamul Indian Village, reportedly described the federal court’s ruling as ‘the right result and a win for Indian country’ in advance of declaring that she hopes it ‘will finally put an end to the over 40 different lawsuits that we have defended against over the decades’.
Reportedly read a statement from Pinto…
“For our tribe, we’re hoping this decision helps put this issue to rest so we and our neighbors can focus on economic recovery and support of the greater Jamul community during these difficult times.”
CDC Gaming Reports detailed that Jamul Casino sits on a four-acre parcel of tribal located near the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge and features seven restaurants and a food court alongside a poker room, a sports bar and a 200,000 sq ft casino offering approximately 1,700 slots and 50 gaming tables.