Casino-Owning Tribe in Central California Votes to Expel Dozens of Members

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The Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold, Calif. is seen in this undated image. (Credit: Google Maps)

The Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold, Calif. is seen in this undated image. (Credit: Google Maps)

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A casino-owning tribe in central California has voted to expel dozens of members who were granted tribal status during an enrollment less than two years ago.

The Fresno Bee reports Thursday the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians in Coarsegold voted this week to cut off 60 people from a share of casino profits and other benefits of tribal membership.

Tribal council chairwoman Jennifer Ruiz tells the newspaper in a written statement they “do not meet the requirements for Tribal enrollment.”

Critics say the vote is a blow by the tribe against its own people fueled by greed for casino gaming revenue.

The vote is the latest turmoil for the tribe, which has endured repeated rounds of disenrollment and even an armed confrontation as different factions jockey for control of the tribe and its casino.

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