Gaming group who helped get Chukchansi back up and running suing tribal group claiming they are owed millions

COARSEGOLD, Calif. (KFSN) -- The doors re-opened to Chukchansi Casino on New Year's Eve in 2015 to crowds of excited gamblers. Now, the Osceola Blackwood Ivory Gaming Group is revealing they were behind getting the green light from the National Indian Gaming Commission to get the cards and slots rolling again.

The nearly 90 page document claims the company promoted and launched a media campaign, and assisted in hiring more than 800 employees in less than seven days. The plaintiffs claim it took the financial risk in exchange for a 25-percent cut of future profits for five years.

ABC30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi said, "Now a new governing board comes in and says we're not going to do this. Question becomes, is the new board responsible to follow the dictates of the first agreement of the old board? My impression is-- they are."

Capozzi reviewed the lengthy lawsuit demanding a jury trial for everything from breach of contract to fraud.

"The plaintiffs are now saying that the tribe is now not dealing with good faith and dealing fairly with us and that we want to get punitive damages for that."

The attorney representing Chukchansi tribal leaders, John Peebles, responded late Tuesday saying the gaming group was paid millions based on a consulting and employment agreement, but that, "there was never an approved management agreement that was valid by the National Indian Gaming Commission because neither party submitted it."

Documents filed show during the first quarter of reopening the casino was profitable, generating more than $13-million before interest and taxes.

The lawsuit asks for the original $21-million plus restitution and punitive damages. But the attorney for tribal leaders said they are never going to get it because they didn't earn it.
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