The California Supreme Court has ruled in favour of tribes wishing to build new Class III casinos in California, removing a major barrier to decades-old plans for the construction of new facilities in the state.
In a 5-2 opinion, the court ruled that the Governor has the power to allow the Department of the Interior to take land into trust for casino-style gaming.
The case dates back to 2002, when the Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians requested that the Interior Secretary acquire land in Yuba County, north of Sacramento, on the tribe’s behalf. The tribe aimed to construct a casino on the land, featuring Class III games such as roulette, blackjack and slots.
In 2011, the Interior Secretary notified then-Governor of California Jerry Brown, as gubernatorial approval is required to take land into trust for federal gaming under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.