ELK GROVE — It’s the go-ahead the Wilton Rancheria Miwok Tribe has been waiting for, turning this empty 36 acre property into a large casino.
“It’s a milestone for Wilton Rancheria. It’s been a long struggle and a long wait to get to this point,” Wilton Rancheria spokesperson Robert Magnuson said.
Governor Jerry Brown signed a gaming compact between the tribe and the state on Tuesday. The approval allows the tribe the casino complex along Highway 99 in Elk Grove. The project includes a hotel and a convention center.
But not everyone is pleased with the deal.
Roger Salazar, with the campaign Communities First No Urban Mega Casinos, says some residents are still fighting to stop the project.
“It’s a question of fairness of not having the voters of Elk Grove not having any sort of say in what their town is going to look like,” Salazar said.
Salazar says there are still federal and city lawsuits against the casino, and the fight is far from over.
“A lot of the folks over at Wilton might be popping champagne corks right now, they are still a longs way off,” he told FOX40.
Those behind the project disagree. They say the City of Elk Grove and some residents want the project.
“The community is strongly behind it. The opposition really is coming from very special interests who are other gaming interests, mainly card rooms and their affiliates who have deep pockets and who are afraid of competitions,” Magnuson said.
The project is expected to break ground by next summer.