Delays Expected for New Madera and Yuba County Casinos w/ Potential Legal Challenges
While the federal government and Gov. Jerry Brown have given their nod of approval to two casino projects in Madera and Yuba counties, it’s worth considering whether either will ever get built. The controversial off-reservation casinos were among the first federally approved casinos in California that also needed the governor's approval. Many suggest that legal challenges against both projects will address unanswered questions and set a precedent for the future. It’s possible that a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision could nullify the whole project and opponents are also citing a 2009 court decision that stipulated the federal government cannot necessarily place land in a trust if a tribe was under federal jurisdiction before 1934.
Other gaming tribes are mobilizing against the two projects and critics are particularly concerned about a wave of off-reservation casinos coming in the aftermath of their approval, as well as concerns that an environmental review was not conducted.
The Fresno Bee reports: “Only five other casinos nationwide have been approved under the same "two-part" state and federal process used to approve the Madera and Marysville casinos. […] Cheryl Schmit, director of Stand Up California, a group opposing off-reservation casinos, predicts that lawsuits will delay the projects another decade.”
It has already taken around a decade for both projects to get as far as they’ve come and the legal challenges could prolong the delay even further.