New Madera Casino Project to Break Ground Next Month

Casino Floor

The construction of the new Madera casino along Highway 99 in the Fresno Area is expected to break ground next month.

According to Red Rocks Chief Financial Officer Stephen Cootey in an investor conference call last week:

“We continue to expect to have a shovel in the ground in the second quarter of 2021 with the construction expected to take 15 to 18 months.”

Red Rocks Resort, the parent company of the Las Vegas-based Station Casinos is partnering with the North Folk Mono Indian Tribe on the project.

A $400M Casino Project

The casino will be built on 305 acres adjacent to the highway between Avenue 17 and Avenue 18 in Madera county. According to its plans, the new Madera casino project will have 213,000 square feet of gaming area with 2,000 slot machines, 40 table games, two restaurants, and a “food hall” concept. The project will cost between $350M-$450M to complete, excluding any financial costs.

The “off reservation” Madera casino project was first proposed in 2003 and approved the the federal government and then Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011. A 2011 lawsuit filed by another California tribe derailed the the project of the North Folk tribe. The case reached the state Supreme Court and last August, the Court ruled to allow the project to move forward.

State Supreme Court Approval

The Madera casino project had a long-standing lawsuit as casino opponents challenged the Governor’s authority to approve two “off reservation” gaming projects in Madera and Yuba, claiming that legislative authorization was required. After two appeals court disagreed on the case, the State Supreme Court heard the case in 2017. Last year, the state’s highest court decided that then Gov. Brown acted within his authority when he concurred the the Madera and Yuba country casino projects.

There are currently three gaming properties within short drives of Madera. These are the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, Table Mountain Casino, and the Club One Casino. Many local residents are in favor of the new Madera casino project not only because it would be beneficial to the economy but also because it would give the other casinos good competition.