Nation | Tribe: Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria
PROJECTED OPENING DATE 2023
Intersection of Highway 99 and Highway 149
Butte County, CA
Mechoopda Casino Site near Chico
The Mechoopda Casino will be an Indian gaming casino owned by the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria. The casino will be located near Chico, California, on a 91-acre site near Highways 99 and 149 on the south bank of Clear Creek. The casino will be 42,000 square feet and feature 500 slot machines, 10 gaming tables and three restaurants.
The Mechoopda Tribe has received federal, state and local approvals to build this casino. A gaming compact signed with the State of California on Jan. 31, 2019 authorizes a maximum of 2,000 slot machines..
In January 2021 the Mechoopda Indian Tribe partnered with Palace Hospitality to develop and manage the casino. Palace Hospitality is owned by the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi-Yokut Tribe, which owns the Tachi Palace Casino Resort near Bakersfield, California.
Construction of a temporary casino began in May 2022.
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Updates to this web page will be added as they become available.
May 28, 2022
The Mechoopda tribe began construction of a new casino south of Chico earlier this month. The building site is off Openshaw Road near the interchange of Highway 99 and 149.
Tribe spokesman Doug Elmets described the casino as a "temporary casino," which is the first announcement that the full-scale Mechoopda Casino will be built later. No details of a temporary casino have been released.
The Mechoopda Indian Tribe has worked and fought for fifteen years to build a casino. The permanent Mechoopda Casino will be 42,000 square feet with 500 slot machines, 10 table games and three restaurants.
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February 2, 2021
The Mechoopda Indian Tribe, which is preparing to build a new casino near Chico, has partnered with a consulting, development and management company named Palace Hospitality. That company was created by the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, California.
"We are thrilled to partner with the Mechoopda Tribe and to help them build their casino from the ground up. We are looking forward to sharing our working business model that creates an incredible casino, generates revenue, and builds positive community relationships."
- Michael Olujic, Principal of Palace Hospitality
The Mechoopda Tribe also issued a statement:
"This casino has been a long time coming with the official compact approval being received in 2018, after more than a decade of attempts to move forward. We are excited to be partnering with Palace Hospitality to help make this dream a reality. Their knowledge and experience in developing successful casino operation methods and programs make them a perfect fit for our new venture."
- Mechoopda Tribal Chairman Dennis Ramirez
The Mechoopda casino project has received federal, state and local approvals to build a casino in Chino. The casino will be 42,000 square feet with 300-500 slot machines, 10 table games and three restaurants.
August 13, 2018
The Mechoopda tribe is asking the Board of Supervisors of Butte County for their support for the tribe's proposed casino project. On Tuesday the request was made by the tribe that the board approve a letter supporting the project. The county has tried to prevent the casino from moving forward for nearly 16 years. Legal fees over the lawsuits from the project have cost close to $850,000.
Formally known as the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria, the tribe has an agreed upon gaming compact with California. On Wednesday Gov. Jerry Brown signed the compact. Under the agreement, the casino would hold a Class III gaming license. It would be located near Highway 99 and Highway 149 on 627 acres. The land is currently being held in trust for the tribe by the federal government.
Even with the gaming compact sighed by the governor, there still needs to be approval from the Legislature. The Mechoopda is asking for support for this from the supervisors.
The County Board of Supervisors have opposed the project because it violates the general plan. Since 2002 the tribe has dealt with lawsuits over their proposed casino project by the county. The ruling has been given in favor of the tribe. The last ruling was in April. Since that time, the county informally decided to no longer pursue any future lawsuits.
Table games and slot machines would be allowed in operation under the Class III gaming license. Up to 2,000 slot machines can be placed in the casino under the gaming compact. 21 years old will be the minimum age for guests that wish to participate in the games. The casino floor will also offer a non-smoking area.
An environmental impact study will need to be conducted for the area as a requirement under the compact. If there are issues discovered after the study is completed, this will not keep the project from moving forward.
The Board of Supervisors will host a meeting in their chambers on Tuesday in the County Administration Building.
April 17, 2018
Plans for a proposed casino south of Chico are moving forward. The Mechoopda Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria have successfully fought lawsuits and appeals over the ten years. Now the tribe has final approve to develop their planned gaming facility.
Butte County had filed an appeal after a federal judge sided with the tribe on a previous lawsuit. On Friday the U.S. Court of Appeals gave an unanimous ruling that agreed with the tribe and gave permission for the casino project to move forward.
East of highways 99 and 149 in Butte County is where the casino will be built.
County supervisors have concerns over the project. However, the tribe now owns the land and it was approved in a circuit court in Washington, D.C.
One of the concerns has to do with the development of the 645 acres of open space. Another has to due with public safety. Both the fire department and the police are struggling with not enough personnel. On the property there is no sewer. There is also limited supply of water. In addition there is a lack of infrastructure for traffic control.
The casino to be built by the Mechoopda Tribe will create 100 new jobs for the area. It will also be the third casino in Butte County.
The tribe is hopeful to find a casino developer to partner with and begin designing the plans. They are also interested in working with the county to help determine a compromise that will be beneficial for everyone.
If the county Board of Supervisors decided to appeal the recent ruling, the next step will be with the U.S. Supreme Court.
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