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Third casino planned for Ukiah Valley

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March 29, 2009

UKIAH - The Pinoleville Pomo Nation has announced the signing of a gaming compact with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for a new Indian casino just north of Ukiah. The compact allows up to 900 slot machines in exchange for giving the state 15 percent of the net revenues. The tribe is also required to pay into a revenue-sharing trust for non-gaming tribes when it operates more than 700 slot machines.

"This casino means a brighter future for our nation and our neighbors,"
said Leona Williams, tribal chairwoman.

Williams said the compact is just the first of many steps the tribe must take before building a casino. It must also be ratified by the California legislature before moving ahead.

Williams also said the tribe is still in the planning stage. It has not yet found financial backers and has not decided where it will build the casino. The tribe owns 99 acres on Highway 101 about a mile north of Ukiah. About 3 of those acres are held in federal trust.

In addition to finding a financial backer, the tribe will have to pass an environmental impact review and negotiate with Mendocino County about mitigating the community costs derived from the impact of the proposed casino. These processes could take several years.

The recession has impacted the neighboring Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians who want to replace their casino in Redwood Valley. Their plans are on hold because they have been unable to find financial backers.

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