July 31, 2019
Two Southern California tribes are fighting against each other for the right to build an Indian casino in Barstow California.
The first proposal for a Barstow casino came from the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians in Warner Springs, California. The tribe has pursued hopes for this project for years going back to the enactment of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. However, the tribe has been unsuccessful to date in getting approval from the federal government to proceed with the casino.
The second proposal for a Barstow casino comes from the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of the Chemehuevi Reservation in Lake Havasu, California. The tribe claims historical rights to the Barstow area based on ancestral records. Their project is in its initial application stage and will take 3-5 years to gain federal, state and local approvals.
Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians
Warner Springs, CA 92086
Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of the Chemehuevi Reservation
Havasu Lake CA 92363
The Chemehuevi tribe is making a second attempt to build a casino in Barstow. They originally applied for a casino near the Barstow outlets in 2006, however their application was rejected by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs in January 2008. Federal policy required the casino to be within "commutable distance" of their reservation.
Soon afterwards the Chemehuevi purchased 40 acres of land along Lenwood Drive in Barstow. Now the tribe is seeking approval from the U.S. Department of Interior to transfer that land into federal trust to qualify as reservation land.
The entire approval process is very lengthy and will take years. It requires a new environmental impact study, approval by the City of Barstow including a public services contract, approval by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a gaming compact with the State of California, and final approval by the U.S. Department of Interior.
Chemehuevi Tribe Chairman Charles Jones seems very optimistic about his tribe's chances this time to gain approval for a new casino in Barstow. "I expect we have an 80% chance of getting the casino completed, maybe in three to five years' time," he told The Victorville Daily Press.
Tribe: Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians
I-15 off Lenwood Rd Exit
Barstow, CA 92311
ARTIST RENDERING by BarWest Gaming
The proposed building site for the Barstow casino is 23-acre parcel adjacent to Tanger Factory Outlets Mall. The project would cost $160 million and would create 1,065 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs.
On June 20, 2016 the Barstow City Council unanimously approved an agreement with the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians to build the casino and finance the municipal services to support it.
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