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Tribal Casino Closed Suddenly Amid Infighting

Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino Closes Thursday After 'Gunmen' Enter


This is a confusing story, but we’ll try to tell you what information is available right now.

According to, about 20 “gunmen” came into the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, located near Fresno, California, on Thursday evening and held casino security guards at gunpoint. That’s the casino’s story, but it’s apparently just one account of what happened.

The casino, owned and operated by the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, was evacuated and shut down. The men who came into the casino apparently are members of the tribe or at least affiliated with it, but have major issues with how the casino is being run.

According to the report, tribal leaders say the incident is a result of fighting between factions in the tribe. The casino could be ordered by the federal government to close later this month after it was discovered that financial audits were missing thanks to a “rogue” gaming commission.

The tribe could also be fined up to $16 million.

The situation has created a lot of tension between members of the tribe over control of its biggest asset—a casino. According to the Fresno Bee, the men who entered the casino tried to remove documents apparently pertaining to the missing audit situation.

The casino says it was blindsided by Thursday’s events.

“Most of them were armed in vests. We had three of our officers surrounded to gunpoint. One of our guys were forced against the wall. All three of them were handcuffed and walked into the casino lobby,” Steve Jones of the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino told the local ABC affiliate.

State and federal officials have been called to help sort of the hairy situation, The Fresno Bee reported. No arrests have been made at this time.