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Wilton Rancheria slams non-Indian interests for fighting casino


Filed Under: California | Casino Stalker
More on: bia, california, donald trump, eis, elections, land-into-trust, raymond hitchcock, wilton
     
   

Artist's rendering of the Wilton Rancheria's resort project in Elk Grove, Caifornia. Image by Wilton Rancheria

The Wilton Rancheria of California has made significant progress on a $400 million casino but non-Indian interests are trying to stop the project.

Knighted Ventures, a firm that provides gaming services to non-Indian card clubs, is financing a referendum that seeks to overturn a land agreement for the casino. The petition contained enough valid signatures for it to be considered by the city council in Elk Grove.

“A campaign funded by gaming interests from outside Elk Grove is disingenuous and wrong," Chairman Raymond Hitchcock told The Sacramento Bee. "They don’t care about the people of Elk Grove. They care about protecting their business interests from fair market competition.”

The city council is meeting on Wednesday to consider the petition. Officials could rescind the resolution that approved the land agreement or they could put the matter to a vote, according to agenda item 10.1.

Additionally, the council is holding a closed session on Wednesday to discuss a lawsuit that seeks to derail the casino. Cheryl Schmit of Stand Up for California has refused to say who is funding her case, which was filed in the state court system.

Last month, the Bureau of Indian Affairs issued the final environmental impact statement for the project. Public comments are being accepted until January 17, right before the end of the Obama administration.

It's possible the BIA could approve the tribe's land-into-trust application before Republican president-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20. Such a decision would come nearly eight years after the tribe was restored to federal recognition during the Obama administration.

Read More on the Story:
Voters to decide if Elk Grove should get an Indian casino (The Sacramento Bee 1/6)
Anti-casino petition verified; special election may be next (The Elk Grove Citizen 1/6)
Elk Grove’s new mayor talks about casino, outlet mall, more (The Elk Grove Citizen 1/4)

Federal Register Notices:
Final Environmental Impact Statement and a Revised Draft Conformity Determination for the Proposed Wilton Rancheria Fee-to-Trust and Casino Project, Sacramento County, California (December 14, 2016)
Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Wilton Rancheria Fee-to-Trust and Casino Project, Sacramento County, California (December 29, 2015)
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Wilton Rancheria Fee-to-Trust and Casino Project, Sacramento County, California (December 4, 2013)

Related Stories:
Cheryl Schmidt: Public kept in the dark on Wilton Rancheria casino (12/14)
Wilton Rancheria takes a huge step forward with casino project (12/13)
Non-Indian gaming firm fighting Wilton Rancheria casino project (12/6)
Wilton Rancheria continues to face mysterious casino opposition (12/01)
Wilton Rancheria still wondering about anti-casino campaign (11/28)
Wilton Rancheria faces shady opposition group in push for casino (11/18)
Raymond Hitchcock: Wilton Rancheria protects its sacred space (11/14)
Wilton Rancheria sees more local support for $400M casino project (11/02)
Wilton Rancheria continues to make progress on casino project (10/20)
Wilton Rancheria makes significant progress on casino project (09/28)
Group opposed to Wilton Rancheria casino won't reveal its backers (08/19)
Wilton Rancheria casino bid generates controversy in community (07/19)
Wilton Rancheria faces anonymous campaign against casino bid (7/14)
Wilton Rancheria shares plans for major casino at outlet mall site (7/7)
Wilton Rancheria plans casino by outlet mall under construction (06/16)
Wilton Rancheria picks alternative site for gaming development (6/10)
Wilton Rancheria focuses on two sites for potential gaming facility (02/17)
Wilton Rancheria considers a second location for potential casino (02/01)
Wilton Rancheria ready for BIA public hearing on gaming proposal (1/27)
Wilton Rancheria anticipates lengthy process for gaming project (01/13)
Wilton Rancheria sees BIA movement on long-awaited casino bid (01/04)
Wilton Rancheria at impasse with city over stalled casino bid (10/29)
Wilton Rancheria still waiting for BIA movement on gaming plan (02/27)

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