COARSEGOLD – Once again, tensions are rising at the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold.
Sheriff John Anderson has said that the tribal factions are feuding once again, and that someone pulled a fire alarm inside the casino forcing an evacuation. It is not known at this time who pulled the alarm.
As a result, all occupants remain outside, and only those who have rented rooms at the casino will be allowed back in. Guest with reservations who arrived after the incident will not be allowed entry. CHP is stationed at Lucky Lane, and not allowing anyone onto the casino property at this time. There is no word on when the road will be reopened.
Sheriff Anderson is on scene, and will be negotiating with factions throughout the night. At this hour no arrests have been made. An investigation into the precipitating incident is ongoing.
Calls to SNO indicate that some employees have been sent home, players were escorted out of the casino area, and diners were asked to leave restaurants. One man who was there having dinner with his wife said the employees walked through the restaurant and just quietly told everyone they had to leave.
“There was a swarm of security in the ante lobby, where people used to check in,” said one casino guest, who did not wish to be identified. “A combination of black dressed, flack jacketed guys. We walked out the front doors, to see a full-on presence of very serious security. Lots of security people, all in black, in military type of gear, but low key. We saw bullet proof vests, ear pieces, and some plain clothes guys, looking like gentlemen in tweed coats. As we left, the Highway Patrol closed ingress onto Lucky Lane from both directions of Highway 41.”
As was reported yesterday, the National Indian Gaming Commission has issued a closure order on the Chukchansi Casino, effective Oct. 27, 2014, due to failures to submit audits and financial statements by the past Tribal Councils and Tribal Gaming Commissions of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians. It is not know if this current unrest is related to this situation.
More information will be released when it becomes available.