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Feds approve land for Yuba County casino

Another hurdle was cleared on Friday for the Enterprise Rancheria casino project when the US Department of the Interior approved placing the project's 40 acres into trust.

Tribal officials said it was welcome news, coming more than a decade after the Estom Yumeka Maidu first approached the federal government about building a casino.

"We have pursued the goal of establishing a viable land base for meaningful economic development in a respectful, transparent, and collaborative manner with local, state, and federal representatives," tribal chair Glenda Nelson said in a press release. "With this important land decision, we can finally begin to create jobs, business opportunity and investment for our tribe and our community — in fulfillment of the true promise of Indian gaming."

Before the project breaks ground, though, a compact between the tribe and the state must be approved by the Legislature, which is expected to take up the matter next year.

Although the project has had some opponents, including Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Loma Rica, tribal representatives have said they are confident it will get through.

The project could also face legal challenges.

Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown gave his blessing to the project, concurring with the Department of the Interior's finding a year earlier of the project meeting necessary requirements.

Locals who have supported the project, such as Yuba County Supervisor Mary Jane Griego, have cited direct and indirect economic benefits.

Agreements call for Yuba County to receive $5 million a year when the casino opens, while Marysville will receive $250,000.

Tribal representatives have not yet identified a target date to break ground or open the casino, which would be near Highway 65 and Sleep Train Amphitheatre.

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