In California, the plan from the Wilton Rancheria to construct a $500 million casino resort in Sacramento County has taken another massive step forward after state legislators officially approved the federally-recognized tribe’s new gaming compact.
According to an announcement from American casino operator Boyd Gaming Corporation, Tuesday saw the California State Assembly and the California State Senate each unanimously ratify the tribal-state deal, which was signed off in late-July by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.
Boyd Gaming Corporation, which has an agreement with the Wilton Rancheria to operate the finished casino resort due to be located some 15 miles southeast of the city of Sacramento, stated that the approvals mean that construction can now start as early as next summer with the venue expected to open approximately 18 to 24 months later.
“We congratulate the Wilton Rancheria for reaching this critical milestone in the tribe’s progress toward self-sufficiency,” read a statement from Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer for Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corporation. “We look forward to working with it in the years ahead as we help make its vision of a world-class gaming resort a reality.”
The Wilton Rancheria is set to build its as yet unnamed casino resort on a 35.9-acre plot of land near the city of Elk Grove it purchased in February of 2015 for approximately $36 million from real estate developer The Howard Hughes Corporation. The tribe’s plan calls for the finished complex to feature a twelve-story hotel along with a spa, 30,000 sq ft events space, fitness center and casino complete with at least 2,000 slots and 84 gaming tables.
This scheme has previously faced opposition from several local anti-casino groups including one called Stand Up For California! due to over-saturation concerns and disagreements as to whether the United States Department of the Interior had been right to authorize the Wilton Rancheria’s land-into-trust application earlier in the year. However, the project received some good news in July after the Bureau of Indian Affairs dismissed an appeal against the prior land grant decision that had been brought by those hostile to the gambling establishment although the whole matter could still end up in federal court.