California Supreme Court Okays Madera Casino Project

Online Gambling in California

On Monday, the California Supreme Court decided in favor of the planned North Fork Rancheria Hotel & Casino Resort, clearing the way for plans to build a casino in Madera county.

According to its decision in the United Auburn Indian Community v. Newsom California Supreme Court Case, former Governor Jerry Brown acted within his authority in concurring with the federal government’s 2011 decision that led to the approval of the two “off-reservation” tribal gaming projects in Madera and Yuba counties.

Said North Fork Rancheria Tribal Chair Elaine Bethel-Fink in a press release:

“We are thrilled that the Court has finally decided this case in our favor. Our tribal citizens and local community have been denied the advantages of tribal gaming – billions of dollars in economic benefits and thousands of jobs – for far too long.”

The proposed Madera casino will be adjacent to Highway 99 at Avenue 17. It will have 2,000 slot machines, 40 gaming tables, and a hotel that is expected to have 200 rooms. It will be operated by the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, a federally recognized Native American tribe with more than 2,200 tribal citizens and has government offices in Madera county.

Opponents Challenged Governor’s Concurrence

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California have been working to build a casino for almost twenty years now. In 2003, the Tribe signed an agreement with the Las Vegas-based Station Casinos to build a casino and the following year, they requested the federal government to take the proposed site near Madera in trust for gaming purposes.

After a federal review, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs determined that gaming on the land would be of the best interest of of the tribe and not detrimental to the surrounding communities. The federal office then requested Governor Jerry Brown to concur, which he did in 2012.

But opponents challenged the governor’s concurrence, arguing that California’s Constitution required legislative authorization. In 2017, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenges for both projects after two appeals court arrived at different conclusions.

Wilton Rancheria Gains Fire Support From the CSD

For years, the Wilton Rancheria has discussed plans to open a major new casino-resort in northern California. The tribe is now working to gain approval from various state government bodies. This week, the tribe received a guarantee of support by the Cosumnes Community Services District.

California

It’s great news for the tribe, which currently plans to open this new venue in 2021. Today, we’re going to look at what exactly this venue will have to offer. We’ll also look at the current state of California’s casino industry.

Let’s get into it!

California’s Casino Industry Remains Shut Down

All around the United States, land-based casinos are completely closed down. It’s all due to the new coronavirus, which has now infected more than 420,000 individuals around the country. It’s been devastating for casino companies, some of which are losing an incredible amount of money every single day.

Of course, some parts of the country are being affected by the casino shutdowns more than others. In places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, this has been incredibly troublesome. A huge number of businesses are now shut down in these areas and tourism has slowed down considerably.

California is under stay-at-home orders. Essentially, residents in the state are unable to leave their homes for anything non-essential. Obviously, this means casinos in the state are unable to open their doors to the general public.

It’s still unclear when these casinos will be able to open again. Despite that fact, several tribes are currently working on plans to open new gambling venues in the state. This includes the Wilton Rancheria.

As we’ve already mentioned, this tribe plans to open a brand new casino-resort next year. This week, they’ve taken a major step forward to get this done.

CSD Agrees to Support Wilton Rancheria With Medical Services

It’s not easy to open a new casino-resort in California. Native American tribes need to gain approval and support from various government bodies. This week, the Cosumnes Community Services District has agreed to provide the Wilton Rancheria with medical services for its proposed casino-resort.

Under the current agreement, the tribe will provide the CSD with several things including a new fire truck, a one-time payment of $805,500 and an annual fee of $887,500. The agreement also makes the Cosumnes Fire Department the exclusive agency to provide fire services for the casino-resort.

Raymond “Chuckie” Hitchcock, a chairman at the Wilton Rancheria, spoke about this new agreement to the media this week.

“We’re excited for our future and our generational partnership between the tribe and the (CSD),” he said. “You are the lifeline between the safety of our future employees and patrons, (you are) the protectors of our gaming facility in the case of any structural emergency.” 

CSD Director Rod Brewer also praised the new partnership this week.

“It took a lot of years and a lot of conversations in just making sure that the stars are aligned to make sure we have something that is mutually beneficial,” Brewer said.

This is a huge move for this tribal group. With this now settled, the tribe can begin looking at construction plans. Of course, we’ll need to want and see how long it takes for the state’s land-based casino industry to get back up and running.

US Land-Based Casino Revenue Continues to Drop

As everyone knows, this is a tough time for the land-based casino industry. Casinos across the country are shut down and no one can say when they’ll open back up. For some casino operators, this will have permanent effects.

Revenue from this industry continues to drop. In New Jersey, for example, casino companies are losing millions of dollars every month. The same is happening in Las Vegas.

California casinos are hurting, as well. All of the Native American gambling venues in the state are currently shut down. There are some analysts that believe things will remain this way for at least a few months.

Despite that fact, the Wilton Rancheria is focused on opening its new casino-resort. This tribe is banking on this whole situation being cleared up by next year. With support from the CSD, this casino is on track to open in 2021.

Major casino companies continue to ask the government for financial aid. Hope is that the stimulus package provides these companies with some relief. Another package is likely to be approved in the coming months.

Stay tuned for more US casino news over the next few weeks!

A Major Poker Cheating Scandal Has Just Been Revealed

Las Vegas is home to a huge number of professional poker players. This week, one of these players announced that she’s been cheated out of thousands of dollars at a venue in California. Today, we’re going to discuss the poker cheating scandal in detail.Poker Hand

It’s troubling news for poker fans. No one wants to hear that professionals are finding new ways to work the system. Here is what we know about this situation.

Las Vegas Casinos Remain Closed

Las Vegas is the gambling hub of the United States. As everyone knows, huge number of massive casino-resorts are located here. Many of the biggest casino companies in the country are also based in this city, some of which have major properties around the world.

For the past few years, revenue in Las Vegas has been surging. Tourism has increased here and several huge new casinos are being constructed in the city. Unfortunately, things have taken a massive turn.

Since January, a new coronavirus called Covid-19 has begun spreading throughout the United States. Hundreds of cases have been recorded in Nevada and new infections are being reported every single day. This has led to the Governor forcing all casinos in the state to close their doors to the public.

This is devastating to the Las Vegas economy. Almost no visitors are coming here and a huge number of individuals are now out of work. Not even the top officials in the state can accurately say when things will return to normal.

The closing of these casinos is costing many companies here millions of dollars every single day. Many professional gamblers based in the city are now forced to play in other states. This week, one of these players revealed she was cheated out of a major jackpot.

Las Vegas Player Reveals a New Poker Cheating Scandal

As we just mentioned, there are many professional poker players that call Las Vegas home. It’s not surprising, considering there are massive tournaments being held here every single week. Due to the casino closures, some players are being forced to hone their craft in other parts of the country.

This is exactly what Marle Cordeiro is doing. Recently, the Las Vegas resident took part in a major game inside of a California casino called the Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights. She’s now suing fellow player Mike Postle, who she claims cheated her out of thousands of dollars. Cordeiro’s lawyer is now asking for the money she lost in the game, along with $250,000 in further damages.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Postle had access to a phone during the game. He would use the device to see the hole cards of other players, in real-time. The lawsuit alleges that Postle was “aided by one or more confederates … who furnished him with this information, for purposes of carrying out a fraud, through one or more concealed communicative mechanisms.”

Several other lawsuits have been made against Postle over the years. Many players claimed to have lost in unusual circumstances against him. This is perhaps the biggest poker cheating scandal in recent memory.

The casino responded by saying, “Stones had no stake in who won money or lost money in the poker games. All Stones did was to provide a venue for the poker game. Plaintiffs decided whether they wanted to play, for how long, how much to bet, and in which hands to participate.”

It’s a very unusual development for the poker world. We’ll need to see how the lawsuit proceeds over the next few months.

When Will Las Vegas Open its Casinos Again?

This is the question that many residents and city officials are now asking. At the moment, both the federal government and state leaders are requesting that people stay in their homes to avoid spreading the virus. It seems to be helping things, yet thousands of new infections are still being reported every single day.

The mayor of Las Vegas is trying to argue that the city cannot survive long in the current conditions. It’s an extremely difficult time for many companies and individuals here. Lawmakers seem to understand this yet are unable to make any changes.

The truth is that no one knows when the Las Vegas casinos will open to the public once again. Several major construction projects are currently underway, despite the current conditions.

That includes construction on the multi-billion-dollar Resorts World Las Vegas. This week, another construction employee at Resorts World tested positive for Covid-19. Some now fear that many projects in the city will be forced to shut down.

In reality, the city will not truly return to normal until the virus is successfully eliminated. Even if the casinos open, very few visitors are likely to gamble inside casinos while new infections are being reported. It’s one of the most difficult situations Las Vegas has ever experienced.

Make sure to stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few weeks!