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Another Butte County Casino Planned

14 November 2005

CALIFORNIA – As reported by the Chico Enterprise Record: "Although significant hurdles still stand in the way, construction of a third Indian casino in Butte County could begin as early as late next year.

"The Mechoopda Indians of the Chico Rancheria have completed a draft environmental assessment, and have plans for an $80 million, 42,000-square-foot casino on land the tribe owns near the Highway 149-99 intersection.

"The casino would be considerably smaller than Butte County's two existing casinos in Oroville, and Mechoopda tribal officials say they have no plans for future expansion.

"…Much of the Mechoopda's 650-acre property is covered with vernal pools, but the 90 acres where the casino would be built was leveled years ago for a farming operation. As a result, the casino will have no impact on wetlands.

"…First of all, the status of the land where the casino would be built has to be changed.

"Although the Mechoopda are considered a sovereign nation, their simple ownership of the land doesn't make it sovereign territory. State law still governs the property, and state law doesn't allow casinos…"

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