Biden Administration expected to allow Coquille Indian Tribe’s expansion

November 20, 2023
By

Plans involve the building of a second casino outside its territory.

The Biden Administration is expected to allow a Tribe in the Pacific Northwest to build a second casino, which would go beyond its territory.

However, a number of Tribes had previously shown opposition to this. 

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is expected to issue a final environmental impact statement (EIS), which would move plans forward to allow the Coquille Indian Tribe’s proposal to build and operate a casino outside of its Medford territory. 

The draft EIS, which was issued in November 2022, faced a lot of opposition from regional Tribes, Tribes nationwide and bipartisan lawmakers, with some people explaining that their opposition is down to how the project would infringe on other Tribes’ rights and impact gaming revenue. 

Democratic Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of California wrote last year to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, saying: "The bottom line is if the Coquille Tribe is allowed to build another casino in Oregon, it will likely lead to all-out gaming conflicts between Oregon and California Tribes.” 

A coalition of tribes in the region led by the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, whose territory is near the site of the proposed casino, which includes the Karuk, Tolowa Dee-Ní, Smith River and Klamath Tribes, have appealed to the Federal Government to reject the proposal.

The Cow Creek has referenced how Coquille’s own estimates would mean there is a 25% decrease in gaming revenue at Cow Creek’s Seven Feathers Casino Resort, if Cedars at Bear Creek is built. 

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