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

Wilton Rancheria hails action on agreement for long-awaited casino

The Wilton Rancheria is hoping to break ground on a long-awaited casino in California this summer after clearing the last major hurdle to the project.

A notice of the tribe's Class III gaming compact was published in the Federal Register on Monday. The agreement authorizes the operation of slot machines, table games and related offerings at the forthcoming casino.

“This is another milestone on our journey to self-sufficiency,” Chairman Raymond “Chuckie” Hitchcock told The Elk Grove Citizen, which named him its 2017 Newsmaker of the Year.

The tribe plans to build the casino on a 36-acre parcel in the city of Elk Grove. The land-into-trust application was approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs on January 19, 2017, the last full day of the Obama administration.

The next month, the Trump administration confirmed that the land was in trust but opponents, including a group known as Stand Up for California, are challenging the decision in federal court.

Stand Up's case is being handled by Judge Trevor N. McFadden in Washington, D.C., The Elk Grove Citizen reported. He only joined the federal bench last October, having been nominated by President Donald Trump.

The tribe's Class III gaming compact was among nine in California that went into effect on Monday. The BIA considers the agreement to be "deemed approved," meaning it is legal, but only to the extent its provisions are consistent with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,

Read More on the Story:
Feds publish notice of EG casino's state deal (The Elk Grove Citizen January 23, 2018)
Federal government formalizes approval of $500 million Elk Grove casino (The Sacramento Business Journal January 23, 2018)
Trump Appointee to Hear Stand Up For California v. Wilton Rancheria Suit Over Proposed Elk Grove Casino (The Elk Grove News December 27, 2017)
Newsmaker of the Year: Raymond ‘Chuckie’ Hitchcock (The Elk Grove Citizen December 22, 2017)

Federal Register Notice:
Indian Gaming; Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compacts Taking Effect in the State of California (January 22, 2018)

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