Station Casinos Expands Into California With Mono Indians Agreement

Written By Derek Helling on January 12, 2024
madera california landscape

Station Casinos’ current operations focus solely on Nevada but soon the company’s reach will extend across Nevada’s western border. Station Casinos has reached an agreement with the owner of a forthcoming tribal casino in California to handle the operation of the casino for the tribal authority.

While a timeline for completion of the property north of Madera, California remains uncertain, the gaming options that Station will administrate should be robust. That gaming revenue should help the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians provide services to its populace.

North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians gets casino partner

According to a press release from Red Rock Resorts, Station will operate the yet unnamed casino that will sit on a tract of land that the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians own near Highway 99 north of Madura. The United States Dept. of the Interior (DOI) took the land into trust for the tribe in 2013 and the tribe will own the casino.

More recently, a division within the US DOI approved the management contract between the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and Station Casinos, making that deal official. The DOI has jurisdiction over compact tribal gaming in the US.

Gaming opportunities at the California casino will include more than 2,000 slot machines plus 40 gaming tables. Among the games available will be blackjack, Pai Gow, and three-card poker. The plans also call for amenities like multiple dining options.

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians has been planning this casino since 2003. As to why there was an 11-year gap between the site being taken into trust and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians naming an operational partner, litigation is the answer.

Path to Madura, California casino fraught with challenges

The past 11 years have featured multiple legal battles over whether the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians could build their casino and if so, where they could do so. Such litigation has gone all the way to the California Supreme Court and included a lawsuit filed by civic groups in the Madera area.

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and their casino project eventually prevailed in all those cases, however. According to a news post by Erik Galicia of the Fresno Bee, the tribe has not yet set a specific timeline for breaking ground on the property but expects it to happen sometime in 2024.

Galicia also reports that gaming revenue from the casino will go towards education and public safety for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians community. Additionally, the tribal casino will feature over 1,000 permanent jobs.

While the community has been waiting for years for this progress on the casino, late is probably better than never for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians. With this agreement in place, more progress on the casino should be forthcoming soon.

Photo by Terry Chea / AP Photo
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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