Home » Community » North Fork Mono Casino & Resort Reaches Another Milestone
National Indian Gaming Commission approves Management Agreement with Tribe’s Developer.

North Fork Mono Casino & Resort Reaches Another Milestone

NORTH FORK–– The long-planned casino project of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California (“Tribe” or “NFR”) reached another key administrative milestone with approval of the Management Agreement between the Tribe and its development partner, SC Madera Management, LLC, a subsidiary of Red Rock Resorts, Inc. which owns Station Casinos LLC and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The decision by the National Indian Gaming Commission (“NIGC”), the federal regulatory agency within the Department of the Interior that oversees gaming on Indian lands, concludes the multi decade administrative approval process successfully navigated by the Tribe at the local, state, and federal levels.


The Timeline

The North Fork casino project has been two decades in the making, in part due to the Tribe’s insistence on pursuing its right to acquire Indian land eligible for gaming in the most transparent and cooperative manner possible.

“Our Tribe has always prided itself on abiding by the spirit and letter of the law and being respectful partners with all levels of government,” said Tribal Chairperson Fred Beihn, “This decision validates our approach and has proven successful for our Tribe.”


Ms. Elaine Bethel-Fink, the long-serving NFR Tribal Chairperson, current Tribal Council member, and President of the NFR Economic Development Authority Board (“EDAB”, a wholly owned unincorporated governmental instrumentality of the Tribe established to oversee the casino), says the project is where it is today because of the efforts of many that went before:

“We must acknowledge those tribal leaders and citizens – some no longer with us – who steered and shaped the project over the years,” says Bethel-Fink. “We could have whined and complained, cut corners, or given up; instead, we stuck to our principles and our faith in the law and in doing right – as is the North Fork way.”

The project – known officially as the ‘North Fork Mono Casino & Resort’ – dates to the early 2000s. In the ensuing years, the project garnered local, state, and federal support based on its potential to positively impact both the Tribe and surrounding local community. In 2011, the Secretary of the Interior (“Secretary”) issued a two-part determination affirming the Tribe’s historical connection to the Madera Parcel and local community support for the project. In 2012, Governor Brown concurred in Two-Part Determination and negotiated a second Gaming Compact with Tribe, which the California Legislature ratified in 2013.

In 2013, the California Secretary of State submitted the 2012 Compact to Secretary for approval. That same year the Secretary of the Interior published notice of the 2012 Compact in the Federal Register and the BIA accepted title for the Madera Parcel in trust for Tribe. In 2016, the Secretary issued procedures under which the Tribe can conduct Class III gaming on its trust land.

“No tribal gaming project in the history of our nation has received as much attention and scrutiny as North Fork,” said Tribal Treasurer and past Tribal Chairperson Maryann McGovran. “We are proud of our accomplishments but wish the project had been completed years ago. The delays mainly result from competitor and opponent tactics and have been dubious and costly to our Tribe and community; nonetheless, we are pleased to be where we are today.”

The Plan

An artist rendering of the proposed Mono hotel/casino.

The North Fork Mono Casino & Resort will provide gaming, entertainment, and hospitality options to the region and be a major driver of the local economy, generating thousands of well-paying jobs, tens of millions of dollars in goods and services purchased (a significant amount of it from local vendors), and significant community investment for public safety, schools, parks, housing, economic development, local charities, and others through MOU agreements negotiated with Madera County and the City of Madera. The casino is expected to eventually hire over a 1,000 team members directly and stimulate many more jobs in the surrounding economy.

“This is why Tribes engage in Gaming in the first place – to bring jobs and economic opportunity to their tribal citizens and local communities,” says Tribal Vice Chair Natori Naylor. “At long last, the North Fork Rancheria gets its deserved place at the table.”


The Tribe and its development partner have not yet announced a groundbreaking date or the final details for construction financing. The project is expected to align closely to the terms outlined in previous project environmental documents. The Tribe expects to begin construction later this year. Once started, construction should take about 15-18 months to complete.

“After finally overcoming so many legal and political challenges put in our way by competitors and opponents alike, we are ready to start building our project so that we can bring the true fulfilment of tribal gaming to our Tribe and community.” says Tribal Secretary Christina McDonald. “We are grateful to have had such a strong partnership with the Station Casinos organization throughout this entire process. They have truly shared our dreams and values throughout the entire process, and we would not be here today without their full support.”

About the North Fork Rancheria

The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians is a federally recognized Native American tribe with over 2,500 tribal citizens and government offices in Madera County, California. Since the restoration of its federally recognized status in 1983, the Tribe has established modern tribal governing institutions to improve the lives of its tribal citizens, many of whom have limited access to basic housing, healthcare, business, employment, and educational services and opportunity. The Tribe leverages its limited federal grant funding to operate numerous tribal programs. More information available at www.NorthForkRancheria.com.

Tribal Contact:
Fred Beihn
Tribal Chair, North Fork Rancheria of
Mono Indians of California
559-760-2485 (m)

Further information about the many hurdles and legal battles leading up to this milestone check out our previous articles:

North Fork Rancheria Casino Approved

Mono Tribe To Pay Chukchansi To Mitigate Impact

Court Denies Injunction Against North Fork Casino Project

Chukchansi Sues Governor, U.S. Gov’t Over Mono Casino

Mono Tribe Moves Forward Despite Prop 48 Loss

North Fork Mono Respond To Chukchansi Open Letter

Supervisors Fire Back At Bill Aimed At Mono Casino Project

California Supreme Court Gives Favorable Nod to North Fork Rancheria Casino

North Fork Mono Casino Project Moves Forward

Supervisors Fire Back At Bill Aimed At Mono Casino Project

Federal Appeals Court to Hear Mono Casino Case

Update: State Supreme Court Hears Mono Casino Appeal


Leave a Reply

Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online