July 8, 2024 2 min read


Fact-checked by Velimir Velichkov

Timbisha Shoshone Tribe Remains on Track with California Casino Project

The project in Inyokern is expected to benefit not only the Tribe but local communities too

A few years after an unsuccessful attempt of the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe to secure land and build a casino in Ridgecrest, California, the Tribe is now moving forward with another casino project. The project in question proposes the development of a casino in Inyokern, on Highway 178 and near Highway 395.

Judging by a notice by the Indian Affairs Bureau, the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe received a green light from the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs for the acquisition of land that would be used for “gaming and other purposes.” The land is described as a County Land Parcel in Kern County that is approximately 20 acres.

The recent notice reads: “The Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs made a final agency determination to acquire in trust 20.03 acres, more or less, of land known as the County Land Parcel in Kern County, California, for the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe for gaming and other purposes.”

The decision marks a major milestone for the future of the Tribe’s casino project in Inyokern. Ultimately, the casino is expected to propel the growth of the Tribe. At the same time, the casino project is anticipated to deliver economic benefits to the region by creating new jobs and boosting local businesses.

The New Casino Would Benefit the Tribe, Deliver Economic Stimulus

George Gholson, the Tribal Chairman, who was recently quoted by CocoaDocs, highlighted the importance of the project. He explained that the new casino in Inyokern is expected to play a key role for the Tribe’s growth.

At the same time, Gholson predicted that the casino would deliver economic stimulus to the region. Moreover, he explained: “This casino will provide a much-needed boost to our economy, and will help us preserve and honor our cultural heritage.”

As noted, the casino project in Inyokern comes after an unsuccessful attempt by the Inyokern for the development of a casino in the city of Ridgecrest. The efforts toward that project date back to 2018 and 2019.

At the time, the Tribe faced strong opposition. Combined with the shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the progress of the casino project in Ridgecrest faced significant delays. In the end, the Tribe wasn’t able to purchase land for the project within a specific deadline which ultimately resulted in the project falling through early in 2022.


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  • Shanna
    July 8, 2024 at 10:37 pm

    Where are they gonna get water from? Just curious

  • Tarra
    July 9, 2024 at 4:36 pm

    Inyokern is in great distress with barley enough water for the people that live their now. Without any word of who’s going to fix this problem or by when. Bringing new jobs is a great idea but at the expense of the current families living in inyokern, it’s just not worth it.

    • Shanna
      July 9, 2024 at 7:15 pm

      Amen!! Great point

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