These bad guys have decimated their tribe, they can't account for $50 million, they've already defaulted on their loans. What do they think happened? That some of them went to anger management classes? Don't let Chukchansi have JACK until they bring ALL the people home. Until they quit their abuses of NATIVE AMERICANS..
A $35 million deal with creditors is close to being reached to reopen the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino by the end of the year, perhaps as early as Labor Day, but the tribe is still awaiting state and federal approval to open.
Officials with the tribal council led by Reggie Lewis described it as one of the “significant milestones necessary to re-open their world-class” casino.
Chukchansi Gold, near Coarsegold, has been closed since rival factions squared off during an Oct. 9 raid on a casino office. The action that night resulted in 15 arrests and state and federal authorities stepped in Oct. 10 to make the closure lasting, demanding that the operating tribe get its affairs in order first.
The Lewis faction said in a statement Monday that the casino will reopen before the end of 2015. The statement indicated that the Lewis group expects to finalize an agreement in a few weeks with the National Indian Gaming Commission and state Attorney General’s Office.
An official with Gov. Jerry Brown’s office said Monday that the state continues to work with the tribe.
“Our priority is to help ensure the facility reopens under circumstances that protect the safety of patrons, employees and tribal members,” said Gareth Lacy, the governor’s deputy press secretary. “We are in ongoing conversations and cannot discuss details at this time.”
Another sticking point is dealing with Madera County supervisors, who are yet to recognize a tribal council because members of a faction once led by Tex McDonald are working in the offices across the street from the casino and hotel.
The tribal council Lewis represents is from 2010. It was recognized by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs last year and affirmed by the U.S. Department of the Interior Board of Indian Appeals in February as interim council until an election, which is scheduled for Oct. 3.
The recognition allowed federal grants to flow to the Lewis council to administer through the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Housing and Urban Development.
It was the Chukchansi Economic Development Authority, the body overseeing the casino, that entered into a deal with some of the tribe’s lenders that will allow it to raise $35 million, at a 12% interest rate, to reopen the facility.
The tribe already is under a $250 million bond deal struck in 2012 and is paying 9.75% in interest through 2020. The tribe must pay about $12 million twice each year to its creditors. The bond was for construction of the casino. The tribe missed its last $12 million payment, which was scheduled to be made at the end of March.
Lewis said the two arrangements are separate, equating the new agreement to taking out a second mortgage on a house.
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