New casino proposed in Elk Grove

On Jan. 30 The Sacramento Bee reported the Wilton Rancheria tribe has proposed building a casino in Elk Grove next to the site of a half-built shopping mall on Highway 99 that was left unfinished when the recession hit eight years ago.

In a report for the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs the tribe proposed building the casino along with restaurants, convention center, hotel, and spa. The tribe envisions a Las Vegas-style venue with shopping and a movie theater next to their amenities.

According to The Bee the tribe lost its land in Wilton, and federal recognition, in 1964. They got it back in 2009 but “this did not erase the 45-year period during which the tribe experienced significant economic and governmental disadvantages,” according to the federal planning document. It also claimed that nearly half of working-age members are unemployed and more than 60 percent live below the poverty level.

Prior to the Elk Grove proposal the tribe was looking at 282 acres of land north of Galt. That option has not been taken off the table, but the Elk Grove location has many advantages. These include the nearby mall, existing infrastructure, and commercial zoning.