The plan from the Tule River Indian Tribe, in central California, to relocate its Eagle Mountain Casino has reportedly taken an important step forward after federal authorities approved an associated land-into-trust petition.

According to a Tuesday report from The Porterville Recorder newspaper, the decision from the United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) means that the federally-recognized tribe now only requires the consent of California Governor Gavin Newsom before it can begin moving its casino to a 40-acre parcel of land situated some 21 miles to the west.

Drought dilemma:

The Tule River Indian Tribe opened its Eagle Mountain Casino in 1996 with the Tulare County venue currently featuring a pair of restaurants, a coffee shop and a food court as well as a casino offering approximately 1,200 slots alongside ten gaming tables. The tribe reportedly began relocation plans in 2016 owing to water deficit concerns and now wants to move the gaming enterprise to a new facility to be built on a 17-plot site situated on the southern outskirts of the nearby city of Porterville.

Grand designs:

Should it receive the required gubernatorial consent, the tribe explained that its relocated Eagle Mountain Casino will feature a 250-room hotel, a multi-purpose events center, conference facilities and around 36,000 sq ft of food and beverage space in addition to a 105,000 sq ft gaming floor. It also detailed that it would utilize its existing casino buildings in order to house a range of internal offices while it envisions running the repositioned enterprise under a new Class III gaming compact to be negotiated with the state of California.

Area appreciation:

Neil Peyron, Chairman for the Tule River Indian Tribe, reportedly told The Porterville Recorder that Governor Newsom now has one year to approve the BIA’s decision, which received considerable support from surrounding communities thanks to a promise from the tribe that it will cooperate in the construction of a new tertiary water treatment facility.

Peyron reportedly told the newspaper…

“After years of hard work, the federal government moved the tribe’s casino relocation one step closer to making this dream a reality. The tribe has been keeping the Governor’s office appraised of the relocation and we look forward to meeting with Governor Newsom and completing the two-part process.”

Economic expansion:

Peyron moreover pronounced that the envisioned relocated casino will be able to employ almost double its current workforce while creating hundreds of temporary construction jobs and allowing his tribe to reallocate its existing water resources and possibly construct up to 100 new on-reservation homes.

Peyron reportedly told The Porterville Recorder…

“The proposed casino relocation will benefit our tribe and tribal members, customers and employees as well as the local community.”