Tejon Casino

Conceptual drawing of proposed Tejon Tribe casino near Mettler

Governor Newsom signed a gaming compact with the Tejon Indian Tribe on Monday to allow gambling at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Kern County, the Tejon Indian Tribe announced.

The agreement comes a year after federal approval and, with approval by the state legislature, clears the way for the tribe to build the Hard Rock Casino, which includes a 166,500-square foot gaming floor, an 11-story hotel with 400 rooms and a convention center.

“We, the Tejon Indian Tribe of the Kitanemuk nation, extend a heartfelt thank you to Governor Newsom and his staff for their efforts in approving our two-part application for gaming eligibility and the tribal-state gaming compact. This has been a long but worthwhile journey for the Tribe,” said Octavio Escobedo III, chair of the Tejon Indian Tribe. “These decisions were necessary and significant steps toward the development of a tribal homeland for our Tribe, which has been landless for more than 150 years. Self-determination has been a priority since the Tribe was affirmed and federally recognized. From the start of our relationship with the United States government in 1851, our Tribe has fought for a homeland for our people. Today, Governor Newsom made that dream a reality by moving the Tribe closer to the promise of self-determination through economic development and prosperity for its 1,200 members."

Escobedo also thanked State Sen. Melissa Hurtado and a bipartisan delegation from kern County for their support.