Dry Creek Rancheria won't seek new casino for another decade

A view of the River Rock Casino in Geyserville, California. Photo from Facebook

The Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians in California has agreed not to pursue a new casino for at least 10 more years.

The pledge is included in a new agreement with Sonoma County. The deal enables the tribe to reduce the amount of revenue sharing payments from the River Rock Casino.

The facility has taken a major hit since the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria opened its Graton Resort and Casino in November 2013. Revenues have fallen about 50 percent and the Dry Creek Rancheria has defaulted on $140 million in debt.

“The county looks at any opportunity to completely prohibit or stave off more gaming,” Supervisor James Gore said at a public meeting on Tuesday night, The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reported. “Now was the right time to do it.”

The Graton Resort and Casino in Roehnert Park, California. The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria recently ground earlier this month on a $175 million expansion of the facility. Photo from Facebook

The tribe's original revenue sharing agreement called for $75 million to go to the county by 2020. According to the paper, at least $22 million has been paid so far.

The new deal cuts the remaining amount to $19.2 million, the paper said. So the tribe is saving nearly $34 million, a considerable amount.

The tribe hasn't made full revenue sharing payments in 2014 and 2015 under the terms of the old agreement. The new deal resolves payments for those years.

The tribe previously expressed interest in a new casino at a site closer to major highway. But Chairman Chris Wright in June said those plans were put on hold to address the tribe's financial situation. He also said a land-into-trust application was never submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Get the Story:
No Petaluma casino until 2025 under deal with the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians (The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat 9/23)

Relevant Documents:
County of Sonoma Agenda Item Summary Report | Resolution Of The Board Of Supervisors Of The County Of Sonoma, State Of California, Approving The Amendment To The Memorandum Of Agreement Between The County Of Sonoma And The Dry Creek Rancheria Band Of Pomo Indians. | AMENDMENT TO MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN DRY CREEK RANCHERIA BAND OF POMO INDIANS AND COUNTY OF SONOMA, CALIFORNIA

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Dry Creek Rancheria heads into default on casino-related debt (05/29)
Dry Creek Band misses debt payment after hit in casino revenue (05/02)
Editorial: County right to question Dry Creek Band casino plans (04/08)

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