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Department of Interior Approves the Tule River Indian Tribe’s Fee-to-Trust Application for casino relocation project and approves its Tribal State Compact

(Eagle Mountain Casino, Porterville, CA 93257) – On December 7, 2020, the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs approved the fee-to-trust application for the Tule River Indian Tribe of California (Tribe), allowing the Tribe to conduct gaming on 40 acres of the Tribe’s land in Porterville, California. The Department of Interior also deemed approved the Tribal State Compact between the State of California and the Tribe which will take effect on December 11, 2020. Although the Tribe submitted its fee-to-trust application in September 2016, it has spent 20 years preparing for the relocation of the Eagle Mountain Casino. With the approval of the fee-to-trust and the Tribal State Compact, the Tribe can now break ground on the long-awaited relocation project that will allow the Tribe to move the Eagle Mountain Casino from its current location on the Tule River Indian Reservation to the City of Porterville, California. “This decision will allow the Tribe to relocate our existing casino to the City of Porterville so that we may use our limited water supply to provide critical housing to our tribal members and continue to improve the general welfare of our tribal members. We are grateful to the Office of Indian Gaming, the BIA Regional Office and the Assistant Secretary’s office for their service to Indian Country and for helping us create much needed jobs and provide opportunities for the local community.”

In August of 2020, the Tribe obtained the final approvals needed from the State of California to authorize the relocation of the Eagle Mountain Casino, including the Governor’s concurrence with the BIA’s determination to place the 40 acres into trust, the Governor’s execution of the Tribal-State Compact, and the State Legislature’s ratification of the Compact. “These approvals represent the culmination of decades of hard work and perseverance and we are pleased that the Governor recognized the substantial benefits of the project for the community,” noted Tribal Chairman Neil Peyron.

The issuance of these approvals marks the end of the Tribe’s decades-long journey to bring the 40 acres into trust, an effort that the community and local governments have strongly supported. “We appreciate all of the support we have received and are proud of our rewarding partnerships with the City of Porterville, Tulare County and the State of California – each of which was critical in making the relocation project a reality,” said Chairman Peyron.

The Tribe and the Eagle Mountain Casino are excited to proceed with obtaining financing to construct the casino resort, which is expected to create approximately 400 construction jobs and 300 or more full-time and part-time casino operation jobs, and which will result in additional funding to the City of Porterville and County of Tulare. In addition to creating jobs, the Tribe entered into inter-governmental agreements with the City of Porterville and Tulare County to address any impacts of the relocation project and provide funding for various governmental services. “We look forward to what the future holds for our Tribe and the surrounding community,” shared Chairman Peyron.

Eagle Mountain Casino is a full-service casino and is owned and operated by the Tule River Indian Tribe of California. Eagle Mountain Casino is centrally located adjacent to Porterville, California and is a short drive from Bakersfield and Visalia. Guests must be age 18 and over to visit.

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