The heat is rising in Napa Valley as the Mishewal Wappo Tribe of Alexander Valley are going head to head with winemakers in the region over plans to build a tribal casino in the area.
The local tribe is planning to open a Las Vegas-style casino in Napa Valley, but the plans have been met by significant objection from county officials and winemakers over the proposed tribal gambling complex.
In the latest gambling news, opponents want to preserve the agricultural land that is famed for its wine while the Mishewal Wappo Tribe is suing the United States for federal recognition.
US gambling laws permit Native American tribes to build casinos on their own land, but in this particular case agricultural preservation issues and legalities complicate matters.
The Wappo tribe fight against Napa Valley wineries to build tribal casino
The leaders of the Wappo Tribe say that they’re looking to restore their own federal status that was lost in 1958, which if recognized, would allow the tribe to pursue economic development, and would also permit the tribe to build a casino without looking for community approval.
A federal judge in a San Jose court heard the arguments on the case back in July, but still the jury is literally out on the matter, since no decision has been issued on the case.
The issue is yielding fiery words on both sides of the fence, but whether the verdict favors the Native American tribe’s rights or the preservation of the region’s agriculture remains to be seen.