Ione Band, Tule River Tribe Set To Proceed With California Tribal Casino Plans

Posted on August 12, 2020 - Last Updated on August 29, 2020

It’s an exciting time for several Indigenous tribes in California. In addition to paving the way for an Amador County tribal casino, the Tule River Tribe has all the approval it needs to relocate its casino.

The US Dept. of the Interior and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have recently taken several actions on tribal gaming compacts. The state will soon see new casino openings and casino relocations.

A new Amador County tribal casino on the way

Last week, Newsom’s signature finalized a gaming compact between the Ione Band of Miwok Indians and the state. That represented clearing a final legal hurdle for the tribe to operate a casino on its reservation near Plymouth.

The compact allows the tribe to offer off-track wagering on horse races, slots and table games. In April, the Interior Department took a tract of 220 acres off Highway 49 into trust for the tribe.

The tribe has been mum on when it will start construction at this point. The same goes for how large the casino will be and what amenities the facility will offer.

What’s certain, however, is that the new casino will increase the already robust percentage of Amador County’s workforce employed in the gambling industry. There are already two other casinos — Harrah’s Northern California and Jackson Rancheria Casino — in the county.

Meanwhile, there is other similar news in the state. The Eagle River Casino near Porterville is now officially on the move.

Newsom approves Eagle River Casino expansion, relocation

The Tule River tribe finally has its wish. After going through extensive renegotiations of its gaming compact, the tribe has the approval to move the Eagle River Casino from its current site.

Earlier, the tribe unveiled the plans for its new property. The new facility is located less than 15 miles from the current site, on a new tract of 40 acres taken into trust by the Interior Department for the tribe. It will feature:

  • 250-room hotel
  • sports bar, restaurant, buffet and food court
  • entertainment lounge
  • 29,000-square-foot convention space
  • 1,700-seat entertainment center
  • banquet hall and meeting space

Like with the Ione Band, the Tule River Tribe hasn’t released an official timeline for beginning or completing construction. With the new compact in place, however, that’s just a matter of time.

These two weren’t the only tribes to enter into new compacts with California, either. Newsom’s signature also finalized compacts with:

  • Mooretown Rancheria of Maidu Indians (Feather Falls Casino)
  • Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians (Rolling Hills Casino)
  • Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians (Red Hawk Casino)
  • Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation (Lucky 7 Casino)

Most California tribal casinos are currently operating amid the COVID-19 pandemic because they lie on sovereign tribal lands.

Hopefully, the pandemic will be over by the time the new Amador County tribal casino and the relocated Eagle River Casino open to the public.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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