New Casino to Be Built near Fresno, Calif.

AUBERRY, Calif. -- A recent agreement between a large gaming company and a Central Valley tribe will bring a new $250 million casino to the foothills east of Fresno.

The Big Sandy Band of Western Mono Indians teamed with Caesars Entertainment and announced Wednesday that they'd signed an agreement to build a 75,000-square-foot gaming complex with at least 2,000 slot machines. The casino will also have a 250- to 300-room hotel, a restaurant, shops and meeting rooms.

The plan was revealed in February. Officials estimate the casino will open in 2006.

The company will manage the casino for the first few years and help the tribe get the funds necessary to build it. In return it will get 30 percent of the casino's earnings and a one-time $7 million development fee.

The Big Sandy tribe already runs the Mono Wind Casino, 15 miles northeast of the site of the new gaming center.

"This collaboration will provide a new economic base for the tribe and Fresno County," said Connie Lewis, Big Sandy Rancheria tribal chairwoman.