July 20, 2015
The Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino has been taking steps to reopen. It could happen towards the end of the year. Approval from state and federal government is still needed.
Creditors and the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California are working on a settlement deal for a repayment $35 million with an interest rate of 12%.
A construction bond deal from 2012 currently has the tribe paying 9.75% until 2020. The bond is for $250 million. Creditors are paid $12 million two times a year. However, the March payment was missed.
On October 9 of last year the office in the casino was raided. 15 people were arrested. The casino was forced to close the next day.
As of now a tribal council has not yet been recognized by the Madera County of supervisors. Last year the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs recognized the council that was formed in 2010. In February the council was affirmed by the U.S. Department of the Interior Board of Indian Appeals. A new election is scheduled for October.
A recognition would allow for the federal Housing and Urban Development and Environmental Protection Agency to grant money to the tribe.
The county has been reluctant to give tribal council recognition.
The tribe also need make a new agreement on the hotel and casino's safety policy. Properties owned by the tribe, including the casino, must be kept safe from rival factions.
Unused casino vouchers and points from before the closing will be honored once the casino reopens.
Electronic game leasing companies removed 400 of the 1,800 machines. However, they are willing to return the machines when allowed to do so. It is estimated that once the casino is given approval to return the machines, it will take almost a month to set them up.
Close to 1,044 people lost their jobs when the casino was forced to close. Former employees that are currently unemployed will be welcomed back to work. The rehire process is expected to be quick.
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