Wilton Rancheria’s plan to open the first tribal gaming property in Sacramento County, California will have to wait a while longer than previously expected due to plans to upgrade some of the venue’s pieces.
The tribe last year said it was targeting an opening for the gaming property in late 2020, but that deadline is being pushed back to late next year. Raymond Hitchcock, Chairman of Wilton Rancheria, said “a few areas” called for redesign, and this caused delays, but he noted that the effort is now “back on track.” Hitchcock did not identify which parts of the project required modification.
“As far as an update on timing, we’re most likely waiting for the spring to hit, so we’re not in the wet season, because we have in-ground infrastructure,” he said in an interview with The Elk Grove Citizen. “And it’s an 18-month (construction process). So, if you do the math, that’s late 2021 for opening for the project.”
The gaming property is being built by Wilton Rancheria on a 35.9-acre patch of land along Highway 99 in Elk Grove, Calif. The tribe is working on the project with Boyd Gaming based in Las Vegas and, once the venue opens, it is expected to create 1,600 construction jobs and 1,750 permanent roles.
After US District Court Trevor McFadden dismissed a motion seeking to block the gaming property brought by Stand Up for California, Wilton Rancheria scored a legal victory to move forward with the project!
Stand up in California! Is an anti-tribal gaming expansion activist group in the Golden State.
At the federal level we are seeking amendments to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and changes in policy and administrate rules that enhance regulatory oversight and give voice to affected parties in the location, size and scope of tribal gaming developments,” according to the organisation.
Stand up for California on Wilton Rancheria plan! Believes the case is not resolved and that McFadden’s decision appeals.
Hitchcock said the tribe will move forward with the construction of the gaming property, dismissing the legal manoeuvring of Stand Up as “white noise.”
The property on which the Elk Grove casino will be located was bought for $36 million, or about $1 million per acre, by the tribe and Boyd Gaming in 2017; Wilton Rancheria estimated $500 million in total construction costs.
Non-gaming facilities such as hotel rooms, meeting space, restaurants and shops will be reserved when completed, will make up 97.3 percent of the square footage. The remaining space is to be allocated to the casino floor but a breakdown of slots and table games has not yet been released by the tribe.
Thunder Valley Casino-Resort at Lincoln is the largest tribal gaming property in Northern California. The venue has a gaming area of 144,500 square feet, with 2,700 slot machines and 103 table games, a poker room and a bingo hall.