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

Wilton Rancheria moves forward with gaming management agreement

Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly stated that the Wilton Rancheria had won approval of a gaming management agreement. It has been corrected to reflect the continuation of the process at the federal level.
The Wilton Rancheria is closer to securing federal approval of an agreement for its long-awaited casino in northern California.

The tribe is working with BGM Co, Inc, a subsidiary of Boyd Gaming on the project. Their management agreement is being reviewed by the National Indian Gaming Commission, according to a notice being published in the Federal Register on Friday.

"The NIGC Chairman’s approval is necessary for the management agreement to take effect," the forthcoming notice states. "The tribe has therefore requested that the NIGC Chairman approve a management agreement between the tribe and BGM which would allow BGM to manage the tribe’s gaming facility on the tribe’s trust property in Elk Grove, California."

The 36-acre gaming site was placed in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs on January 19, 2017, the last full day of the Obama administration. A year later, the tribe's Class III gaming compact with the state of California went into effect.

The gaming management agreement represents one of the final pieces of action needed for the casino, which the tribe began working on after being restored to federal recognition in 2009. The environmental review process, officially, took a little over three years to complete.

Plans call for a $400 million resort along a major highway in Elk Grove. The development will be the closest Indian gaming facility to Sacramento, the state capital, which is about 20 miles away.

A groundbreaking has not been announced. The tribe anticipates 1,600 jobs will be created during construction, while the casino itself will offer about 1,750 full-time positions.

The forthcoming Federal Register notice about the gaming agreement was signed on September 11 by Christinia Thomas, who is described as the "acting" chief of staff at the NIGC. It states that a decision on the gaming management will be issued at some point but it does not give a firm date.

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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