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Idaho Tribes betting against each other

Duck Valley and Fort Hall both want Mountain Home casino
Posted at 5:48 PM, Nov 28, 2023

The Shoshone-Paiute tribe is the only tribe in Idaho that is non-revenue. Tribal chairman Brian Mason explains.

“We don’t have a casino we don’t have an economic base we’ve got independent cattle ranchers that ranch, raise and sell cattle on the market that type of thing. When don’t have revenue and you’re so remote your problems multiply and it rolls into a snowball effect."

Tribal chairman Brian Mason and the rest of the council on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation have their work cut out for them.

They are in desperate need to generate revenue for the reservation that straddles the Idaho/Nevada border. Money for basic services like medical needs. Here's what Mason says.

“We don’t have what it takes to hire a Doctor on the market. If you’re going to get hurt you gotta get hurt Monday through Friday”

Thanks to a program to reduce the fuel load on the forest bottom, Duck Valley receives trees from the Payette and Boise national forests to help heat homes on the reservation.

“We just do the elders, we’re trying to reach out to homes that are handicapped single moms that don’t have the means to go out in the woods and get their own wood.”

That's why they really want a casino. The Shoshone-Paiute tribe is trying to work a deal to buy land near Mountain Home which Mason says makes sense for them.

“From cradle to grave the tribal members from Duck Valley are Mountain Home”

Here’s the rub…. the Shoshone-Bannock tribe out of Fort Hall, Idaho is one step ahead of the game. Both Fort Hall and Mountain Homes officials have confirmed to Idaho News Six that land has been purchased south of town along the Interstate. Mason says Duck Valley has tried for a long time.

“We’ve got another tribe that has three casinos already that is trying to deny us the right and the fact to making a living by having a gaming operation in Mountain Home which is our home spend all our paychecks there.”

An official at Fort Hall said they would not comment about Duck Valley and that they would send me an update on the project in December. I reached out to Governor Little's office who directed me to the Department of Interior. We're waiting on a response from Washington.