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Construction on new casino near Chico continues

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Mechoopda Casino

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Some may have noticed a large tent on the side of Highway 99 and Highway 149 in Butte County, on the south bank of Clear Creek, south of Chico and just off Openshaw Road.

The Mechoopda Tribe owns the land.

In May, Tribe Spokesman Doug Elmets told Action News Now the tribe started construction on a "temporary casino." 

They won't say anything more right now.

But on Wednesday, Action News Now spoke with Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly. 

He says the county initially opposed the casino, citing limited access off a busy highway and because it’s a significant recharge area for groundwater runoff to get back into the aquifer.

Connelly says he believes without an additional overpass that the added traffic congestion will create a dangerous situation.

But the tribe won the legal battle.

Connelly says the tribe recently told the county they would start with low-level gaming, like slot machines and bingo. 

He says the tribe promised to pay the county for some sort of police and fire response in the case of an emergency but there's not a written contract yet.

The state will work with the tribe regarding gaming rules and the federal government will oversee the environmental impacts of developments. 

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