The federal government has provided its approval for a new casino in Yuba County, partially thanks to the Estom Yumeka Maidu tribe’s memorandum of understanding with the County and Marysville when it comes to mitigating any potential impacts from its construction. The tribe first proposed the project nine years ago and now that the federal government is on board, it will come down to Gov. Jerry Brown for the plan to continue to move forward, as land must be taken into trust. While the tribe is technically based in Oroville, a casino was proposed for Yuba County because the tribe felt land available in Butte County was unsuitable. Glenda Nelson, tribal chair for the Maidu, commented that “I think the decision was an important step in the process, but several steps remain. It's taken a long time, but we feel it's been important to go through every step.” It is estimated that the casino will cost $150 million. The Bee reports:
“In 2002, the Yuba County Board of Supervisors signed an agreement to receive $83 million over 20 years if the casino is built. The city of Marysville stands to receive $4.8 million over 15 years from the project. Critics have blasted the casino plan as ‘reservation shopping,’ with the tribe seeking to develop the gambling resort 36 miles from its land in Oroville. In 2005, Yuba County voters rejected the casino plan in an advisory measure by 52 percent to 48 percent. But Yuba County Supervisor Mary Jane Griego said searing unemployment in the region has generated renewed support for a casino and potentially thousands of jobs. ‘This is the news of the century as far as I'm concerned,’ Griego said. ‘This project is going to make a significant difference.’”
While the casino would be outside the tribe's existing reservation, the feds noted in their approval that the tribe met the right qualifications and the casino would be in a "sports and entertainment" zone in the county. The next and more critical step is forming a gaming compact with the state. Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Lake Wildwood, believes the casino goes against the desires of local residents, but jobs and economic development may trump all other concerns in cash-strapped California.