July 18, 2017
A Native American casino is about to be opened in Elk Grove.
The Wilton Rancheria is trying to have land placed into trust. This is required by law if the tribe wishes to build a casino on the land. The tribe has faced legal battles to prevent this step from happening. Last week the federal government sided with the tribe.
The land in question is located off of Highway 99 and is 36 acres.
A group that is opposed to the casino states that the project should not be approved because final approval must be given by the Indian Affairs secretary or assistant secretary. However the decision was made by a principal deputy assistant secretary. Stand Up for California, the group behind the lawsuit, states that this is a violation of the regulations under the Department of the Interior.
In February the land decision was ruled in favor of the tribe by the acting assistant secretary for Indian Affairs.
An appeal will be filed by Stand Up by January. Members of the Elk Grove community will also file a lawsuit believing that the city illegally met with leaders of the tribe over the casino.
With the land now placed into trust, the casino may move forward with development. It may start building in as little as three years and will cost an estimated $400 million to complete.
Negotiations for a gaming compact needs to be agreed upon with Gov. Jerry Brown. It will also need to be approved by California legislature.
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