Wilton Rancheria casino bid generates controversy in community

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

When the Wilton Rancheria of California announced plans for a casino, tribal leaders immediately faced questions about the initial site.

Residents of Galt told the Bureau of Indian Affairs that a casino would be too disruptive to their rural community. Four months later, the tribe focused their plans on a more commercial location in Elk Grove.

But the move to a much bigger city has brought about much larger problems. An anonymous group known as Protect Elk Grove is stirring up residents with a website, fliers and automated phone calls.

"I don’t know who sent the mailer but they should own up to it because it’s false and irresponsible," Chairman Raymond Hitchcock told FOX40.

But the group isn't the only issue. After Mayor Gary Davis said he supported the tribe some residents interpreted his comment to mean he endorsed the casino.

Davis has since announced that he won't seek re-election, a decision unrelated to the project. The casino is likely to be a major issue in the election this fall, The Elk Grove News reported.

The tribe is planning to build a casino resort at the site of an outlet mall under construction in the city. The BIA is reviewing the environmental impact statement but the process will take years to complete.

The tribe was restored to federal recognition in 2009.

Get the Story:
Poll Shows Majority Oppose Wilton Rancheria's Proposed Elk Grove Casino (The Elk Grove News 7/19)
Residents Concerned About Unknown Key Elk Grove Casino Opponent (FOX40 7/14)
Wilton Rancheria presents Elk Grove casino plan to community (The Elk Grove Citizen 7/13)

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