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Black Oak Unveils Casino Expansion

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Officials with the Me-Wuk Indian Tribe in Tuolumne held a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning to unveil their new 164,000 square foot gaming facility.

Casino Manager Ron Patell says the event began with a tribal blessing of the new facility conducted by Tuolumne tribe members and native Americans from the Yavapai-Apache nation in Northern Arizona.

“The Tuolumne Tribe had a development agreement, originally, with the Yavapai-Apache Nation in Arizona. So the Yavapai-Apache Nation joined the Tuolumne Tribe today to bless the building officially between 7 and 7:30 this morning,” Patell said.

The massive casino features 940 slot machines, 24 gaming tables, a music and comedy entertainment venue with 250 seats and more. Lester Willis Lingo, President of the tribe´s economic development association, says the relationship between the Tuolumne and Yavapai-Apache tribes has been instrumental in Black Oak Casino´s success.

“Even after four years, we still don´t bicker over money, it´s been a win-win situation for everybody. Our families and their families have merged, and that´s probably the word for it: family. That´s exactly what we are with the Yavapai-Apache,” Lingo said.

The new gaming facility officialy opens to the public at five o´clock this afternoon. Today´s unveiling marks completion of the second phase of a multi-phase expansion at Black Oak. A new family entertainment floor, bowling alley, sports bar, and more will be unveiled and open next Wednesday . The Tuolumne band of Me-Wuk Indians has between 200 and 300 members.

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