California approves new Wilton Rancheria compact

Wilton Rancheria

Credits: wiltonrancheria-nsn.gov

Wilton Rancheria’s first tribal casino in Sacramento County keeps getting closer as the state Assembly approved the new gaming compact on Thursday.

US.- The Wilton Rancheria’s plans to build a casino in Sacramento County, which would be the first tribal venue in the area, keep progressing as the state Assembly approved the new gaming compact between the state and the tribe. The document had already been accepted by Governor Jerry Brown on July 19, but further ratification from the Senate and Assembly was needed, and both approved it unanimously.

Wilton Rancheria’s chairman Raymond C. Hitchcok commented he’s “ecstatic” about the news and, according to modbee.com, he said the compact’s acceptance is a new milestone in the tribes plan to reach “economic sustainability and self sovereignty.”

The group is set to win back federal recognition as a tribe once Gov. Brown signs the compact. However, it won’t get its former lands near Wilton (which were taken away in the 1950s) and many of its members are said to remain impoverished and unemployed.

Nonetheless, the compact is a major step forward for the tribe, which has been seeking to gain approval for a permit to build a casino and hotel complex in Elk Grove fot the past two years. Despite rejection from residents, card rooms and a gambling watchdog group, it’s closer to success than it has ever been.

The Wilton Rancheria will be allowed to operate up to 2,500 slot machines in exchange of 6 percent of the house’s win from them into a state-run fund that will distribute revenues among tribes with no casino operations.

Despite major acceptance within the Government, Stand Up California (a gambling watchdog group) said it will continue to challenge the project in federal court. However, Hitchcock thinks the project will get built sooner or later.