California Senate approves Yreka casino

California Senate approves Yreka casino
People play the slot machines at a casino near Palm Springs. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The state Senate voted Thursday to ratify a compact allowing the Karuk tribe to build and operate a casino in the Northern California city of Yreka.

Gov. Jerry Brown approved the compact in December, permitting the tribe to operate a casino with up to 1,500 slot machines in exchange for providing the state with 10% of its revenue.

The tribe has about 3,700 members who mostly live in Orleans, Happy Camp and Yreka.

“The Karuk people are the second-largest tribe in California,” Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) said on the Senate floor, adding that the tribe “is located in one of the most economically depressed area of the state.”

The federally recognized tribe has purchased about 200 acres within Yreka for housing and the casino.

The compact was originally opposed by the city of Yreka until it reached an agreement with the tribe on environmental issues including the handling of wastewater from the development.

The Senate vote was 28-4. The compact next goes to the Assembly for consideration.