The issue started in 2007, when the facility opened with an agreement it would pay the county $600-thousand every year for infrastructure, law enforcement and other services. But according to a 2011 judgement, the Santa Ysabel Band of Mission Indians never paid, equalling a $3 million bill.
While both sides bicker over whether the tribe's money is eligible for the county, it filed for bankruptcy to "relieve the Casino's financial distress, reorganize its debt and restructure the business", according to court documents.
The tribe's bankruptcy filing lists 50 creditors, with the county owed the most, more than $3 million. It also owes the California Gambling Control Commission $100-thousand. State officials tell Fox 5 the tribe is "delinquent" in its payments, but would not elaborate.
Tribal officials declined to comment, but have said in court paying the county could force the casino to close. County attorney Tom Bunton said Tuesday he wasn't sure how the bankruptcy would affect the dispute.
"Hopefully with the bankruptcy we'll get some financial information from the tribe," Bunton said, "We expected the tribe to pay. It's unfortunate they have not done so."