New California Casino Expected To Create Annual Multiplier Effect For Regional Economy

After being given a resounding thumbs down from the people of Elk Grove, California, when the town council voted last week to rescind a deal between the Wilton Rancheria tribe and the Howard Hughes Corporation to allow the tribe to purchase land in town to build a casino, it seems that things are back on again, thanks to the US Department of the Interior. The project will create: 1,600 construction jobs; 1,750 full-time employee positions; and 3,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The Department has taken into trust the disputed land on behalf of the tribe, which will allow them to go ahead with the casino project, regardless of local opinions. The tribe had expected this to happen last week, which is why they were not too downhearted with the Elk Grove city council vote.

For the tribe, it's about more than just a casino - although they stress that they need this to earn revenue. It's about having a place to set down roots again. The Wilton Rancheria tribe was disbanded by the government in 1959, and according to tribal chairman Raymond Hitchcock, “After six decades of being landless, we now have a home!”

The tribe has already partnered up with Boyd Gaming to help build and operate the proposed $400 million casino, although they will need to reach an agreement with the state to get a Class III gaming license which will enable them to run slot machines, blackjack, and roulette.

Elk Grove Casino: Key Facts:

  • 35.9-acre property
  • $30-plus million construction
  • The project will create: close to 7,000 direct and indirect jobs
  • Boyd Gaming is the exclusive casino operator/partner
  • 302 hotel suites & guest rooms
  • Spa & fitness area
  • Restaurants & fine dining
  • Ballroom, conference & entertainment venue
  • Pool area, parking & landscaping
  • Retail outlet stores
  • Movie theatre

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