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

Wilton Rancheria remains optimistic for long-awaited casino

The Wilton Rancheria continues to plan for a late 2020 opening of its long-awaited casino amid ongoing litigation filed by opponents in California.

Chairman Raymond “Chuckie” Hitchcock told The Elk Grove Citizen that the tribe has lined up financing for the $500 million Wilton Resort Casino Spa. Depending on time, the facility could open late next year or in early 2021.

“We’re on track to get rocking here really soon – late 2020 or the first of 2021,” Hitchcock told the paper.

The 36-acre site for the project was placed in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the last full day of the Obama administration in January 2017. A group called Stand Up for California is hoping to derail the project but suffered on critical setback in court.

The litigation, however, is still ongoing. The tribe and the Trump administration recently completed briefing on motions to dismiss the case.

The tribe has been without a land base ever since the termination era of the 1950s. It government-to-government relationship with the United States was also in limbo until the BIA restored the tribe's federal recognition in 2009.

The tribe then began pursuing the casino. The land-into-trust process took a little over five years to complete.

Additional milestones, such as the negotiation of a Class III gaming compact and approval of a management contract for the casino, were completed last year.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Stand Up for California! v. Department of Interior.

Read More on the Story
Wilton Rancheria, federal government challenge lawsuit against EG casino-resort (The Elk Grove Citizen‎ July 12, 2019)

Federal Register Notices
Adoption and Recirculation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Wilton Rancheria Fee-to-Trust and Casino Project (To Be Published September 14, 2018)
Indian Gaming; Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compacts Taking Effect in the State of California (January 22, 2018)
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)

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