In California, the Redding Rancheria has filed a second land-into-trust application with the Bureau Of Indian Affairs as part of its long-running efforts to relocate its Win-River Resort And Casino to a much larger site some 1.6 miles away.
The latest move follows last week’s ruling from the United States Court Of Appeals For The Ninth Circuit in San Francisco that an earlier request from the tribe concerning the Shasta County property should be considered as such a move may not violate Section 20 of the governing Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
“The new facility would replace the tribe’s existing casino and the existing casino buildings would be converted to a different use,” read a statement published today in the official Federal Register.
The Redding Rancheria revealed that the land-into-trust application concerns a 232-acre site on which it wants to construct a new 140,000 sq ft casino complete with a retail element, 250-room hotel and a convention center.
This is the second time that the Redding Rancheria has sought approval for the move from the Bureau Of Indian Affairs after an initial 2003 request was denied some seven years later. The tribe took this earlier rejection to court and last week won a favorable decision that opened the door for resubmitting the land-into-trust application.
By a two-to-one vote, the United States Court Of Appeals For The Ninth Circuit ruled that the Bureau Of Indian Affairs should reconsider the request as it “does not appear to conflict with the statutory purpose of ensuring parity among restored and established tribes”.
“Restored tribes, if allowed to operate an indefinite number of casinos on newly restored lands would of course have an advantage over established tribes but it is not clear that allowing restored tribes to move a casino to a different location would necessarily have the same effect,” read the ruling from the federal court.
The Redding Rancheria won federal recognition in 1983 before opening its Win-River Resort And Casino complete with a 75,000 sq ft casino on 2.5 acres of land 150 miles north of Sacramento some ten years later.
The Bureau Of Indian Affairs explained that it will now prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed project, which is a process that is set to stretch into the new administration of Republican President-elect Donald Trump.