Updates on proposed casino in Joshua Tree

Above: Exterior of Spotlight 29, a casino in Coachella currently owned and operated by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, who wish to open a new casino in Joshua Tree.

Dec 7, 2011: The wonderful Morongo Basin Conservation Association has posted an update on the proposed Joshua Tree casino, that includes a summary of the recent presentation given to the community by Cheryl Schmit of Stand Up California, a non-profit advocacy group that deals with gambling at the local level around California. I was able to attend some of that meeting and found Ms. Schmit to be unusually knowledgeable and persuasive on the issue and on what we can do. Kudos to MBCA for hosting her visit. If you are interested in the casino issue, you must have a look at this MBCA report.

Dec 4, 2011: The Desert Sun ran a good-sized feature offering background and context on the casino, as well as news on recent developments: “Joshua Tree casino plan re-ignites debate over off-reservation gambling: Critics worried about impact on high desert town”.

Victoria Fuller, president of the Joshua Tree Community Association, and the aforementioned Cheryl Schmit of Stand Up California are quoted at length. Sen. Feinstein’s letter of opposition to U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar is quoted, and Elizabeth Ashford, a spokesperson for Gov. Brown, makes a statement. Interestingly, officials from the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians did not reply to inquiries from the Desert Sun.

The Twenty-Nine Palms Band runs the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella.

About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in JTHomesteader.com with Stephanie Smith.
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4 Responses to Updates on proposed casino in Joshua Tree

  1. steve longoria says:

    a casino would be great for Joshua Tree. I’ve lived there my whole life, and think it would be great for the growth of the community.

    • Mr. D. Droga says:

      Yeah! More poverty, broken homes, crime and goodbye to starry night skies and Joshua Tree as an eco tourism destination. Growth of the community. When has gambling ever been good for the growth of a community? Sad.

  2. Sharon MacCallum says:

    Joshua Tree has been hard hit by the economic turndown. A casino would bring
    jobs to the area, new people and money to help offset the blight conditions along
    Hwy 62 with the many business closures. These new businesses translate into new

    Employment helps reduce crime. If more people comt to JoshuaTree to visit a casino,
    they will. in turn, visit the other features the area has to offer -ie- Joshua Tree National
    Park. I would like to see a proposal submitted by the Indian Council sowe know what is
    being offered, and not just rumors.

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