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Tribe wants casino for Yreka

Jun 17, 2003 7:59 AM

An Indian tribe with 55 acres in the northern California county of Siskiyou, about 150 miles west of Nevada, has become one of the latest tribes in the state to ask for permission to build a casino in California, the Redding Record-Searchlight reported Saturday.

The Karuk tribe, with 3,222 members, has the blessing of the leaders of tiny Yreka, Calif. (pop. 7,300), to build a 24-hour casino and resort. The first phase, at a cost of $8 million to $14 million, would feature a casino with about 350 slot machines that planners hope will open by mid-2004.

The tribe has already agreed to pay local taxes to the government of Yreka, which sits 22 miles south of the Oregon border and is adjacent to Interstate Highway 5 and California State Routes 3 and 267.

The plan, however, faces approval via compact from Gov. Gray Davis, who lately has been trying to extract higher gaming tax concessions from the state’s tribal casinos.

In the meantime, Davis faces a recall campaign by disgruntled Californians, which could reach the ballot by this November.

California has compacts with 61 Indian tribes, permitting them to build casinos. But Davis’ political woes could come back to haunt the Karuks.