January 28, 2009
BARSTOW, CA - The Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno tribe is still seeking federal approval to build a casino in Bartow. Their original application for denied by the U.S. Department of Interior last January 2008 after the department revised its policy for off-reservation casinos.
The new policy requires casinos to be within commuting distance of a reservation. The Los Coyotes reservation is in a remote area of San Diego County where less than 10% of their tribal members live.
With a change in administrations the tribe is hopeful they can still qualify for a new application they submitted last May to build a casino on 23 acres in Barstow. The interior department's Bureau of Indian Affairs has confirmed receipt of the application and it is currently under review. An expected decision date is unknown.
The Chemehuevi tribe in Havasu Lake had also previously applied for its own casino in Barstow and their application was also denied last year. They remain interested but have not resubmitted an application. They are waiting to see what changes the new administration may make to the commuting distance requirement.
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