Six quick thoughts on the mess at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino:
1. The Madera County tribe last week in essence filed for bankruptcy protection when the two leadership factions squared off inside the casino in such a fashion that government had no choice but to step in and shut the business down. That probably wasn't the intent of either faction, but both should have known it would be the inevitable result. The dangerous stand-off is proof positive that, going forward, things at the casino will never again be the same -- just like in a bankruptcy action.
2. I have no idea if the tribe has more liabilities than assets. Doesn't matter. It's not unusual for businesses or individuals still in the black to seek bankruptcy protection. They do so because they know their current path is unsustainable.
3. The beauty of American bankruptcy law is that it allows a business or individual to reorganize the operation in relatively simple fashion so it can regain some measure of stability. Chukchansi Casino is not in bankruptcy court, but it does find itself in federal court and facing a judge with all the power.
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4. If ever a business needed a top-to-bottom reorganization, it's Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino. I'm betting the casino/hotel doesn't reopen until such a reorganization takes place or a third-party administrator takes over until management reforms take root. Casino regulators have no desire to make a decision that comes back to haunt them and the public.
5. City of Fresno officials as of Friday were keeping a close eye on things. The Chukchansi tribe pays $1 million a year in naming rights at the downtown stadium. That money is pivotal to the financial health of the Fresno Grizzlies' owner -- Fresno Baseball Club LLC. City Attorney Doug Sloan and his team are busy laying out all options for Mayor Ashley Swearengin and the City Council. City officials are well aware that, should casino issues completely unravel, City Hall could end up next spring temporarily running things at the stadium.
6. Bee reporter Marc Benjamin is doing a superb job covering Chukchansi events. Bee reporters Carmen George and John Ellis are doing great work, too. Their work makes me think of Lisa Aleman-Padilla, who did tons of wonderful reporting on Chukchansi a decade ago for The Bee.