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California Tribal Infighting Forces Casino Evacuation

Infighting among California tribes has long been the main cause for the delay in the approval of online poker legislation in the Golden State, but warring tribal factions took a dispute to a new level recently when they forced the evacuation of a Fresno casino.

A number of gunmen, perhaps as many as 20, apparently entered the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino on Thursday and held casino security guards at bay. As reported by ABC7 News, the gunmen were opposing members of the same tribe that runs the casino.

Details remain a bit sketchy, but what is clear is that casino patrons had to leave the casino without being allowed to cash in their chips. None of the gamblers were hurt in the fracas, but it is believed that more than one security guard may have been assaulted.

Guests of the hotel were reportedly allowed to remain in their rooms, but the casino was shut down. The dispute apparently revolves around some missing audits.

The National Indian Gaming Commission has threatened to shut down the casino permanently at the end of October if the missing audits do not turn up. The owners and operators of the casino, the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, are facing fines of up to $16 million with regard to the audit reports.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.