Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a multimillion-dollar revenue-sharing agreement with the tribe that is building a casino next to Rohnert Park. ‘What we have before us is certainly a really good outcome of negotiations for the county,’ said Supervisor David Rabbitt, whose 2nd District includes the 254-acre Wilfred Avenue casino site.
Casino officials intend to expand in a few more years with a permanent gaming hall, a 150- to 200-room hotel and additional restaurants. The expansion is driven by a competitive threat to the south that will end River Rock’s monopoly on Indian gaming in Sonoma County. The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria have started their long-stalled casino-resort in Rohnert Park just west of Highway 101, expected to open by late next year.
Nine years after the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria announced plans to open a casino in Sonoma County, inciting opposition and controversy, the tribe has cleared its last governmental hurdle. In a quiet milestone, the federal government Friday let an agreement between the state and the tribe, known as a compact, take effect by acting neither to reject or approve it. The compact allows the tribe to operate a Las Vegas-style casino with slot machines and banking card games.
The agreement to allow the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to open a 3,000-slot machine casino on the northwest edge of Rohnert Park gets its first hearing at the state Legislature Tuesday, much sooner than many observers expected.
The new gaming compact giving the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria the right to open a Las Vegas-style casino resort outside Rohnert Park pushes the relationship between the state’s tribes and its local governments into untested territory. That has roiled the Indian gaming community across California, where some fear it gives local governments too much sway over casino projects.
Petaluma City Council members will be asked Monday whether the city should urge North Bay legislators to reject the governor’s gaming agreement with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, who plan a huge casino near Rohnert Park. What do you think the council should do?
Plans for a casino in Cloverdale became murkier Wednesday when a portion of the land proposed for the controversial project was reclaimed at a foreclosure auction. With the flat economy and new gambling ventures on hold, Cloverdale officials were divided on whether the foreclosure and auction signaled trouble for the casino project.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a gambling compact with a Mendocino County Indian tribe allowing it to build a casino with 900 slot machines. The Pinoleville Pomo Nation hopes to break ground next spring on a 90,000-square-foot casino and a 72,100-square-foot hotel at the site of a former car dealership near the northern border of Ukiah.
The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria are set to donate $500,000 to Sonoma County as part of an agreement to support a long-term plan for Tolay Lake Regional Park and secure an advisory role in the park’s development. The deal comes just weeks after Greg Sarris, chairman of the Graton Rancheria, urged state officials to look to tribal casinos as a key source of park funding.
By CLARK MASON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Sonoma County officials say the impacts of a tribal housing project in Windsor are being downplayed and the number of homes is too high for the rural area. The housing and cultural center proposed by the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians is on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda today [...]