When a small band of Pomo Indians in northern California presented plans for its first casino, the two biggest questions were where the tribe would get the expertise and money for the development from. Check the first item off the list for a future Koi Nation casino.
Due to a new agreement with a gambling company owned by the Chickasaw Nation, the Koi Nation now has all the experience it could ever need at its behest. There are still other matters to attend to, though.
Koi Nation casino gets a boost with agreement
The Koi Nation now has a pre-development agreement with Global Gaming Solutions. Through that company, the Chickasaw Nation operates 23 casinos in Oklahoma. If everything goes well, they will add the planned Shiloh Casino & Resort to that portfolio.
The Koi Nation would retain ownership of the land and the casino, however. It would like to build the casino on land it purchased last year. That 68-acre parcel sits near Windsor, CA. The casino plans include:
- 2,500 gaming machines
- 200-room hotel
- Event space
The Koi Nation has filed its free to trust application with the US Dept. of the Interior. That’s a necessary step for forming a gaming compact with the same and the state of California. Even if the Interior does take the land into trust and establish a Koi Nation reservation, the biggest challenges might still lie ahead.
Opposition all over California
Unfriendly sentiments toward the casino location and project exist not only in the local community but in the greater region and Sacramento, the state’s capital. For example, Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore expressed opposition to the idea of any casino in the county last year.
Other tribal casino operators have similar feelings. Two other tribal casinos already exist within a 20-mile radius of the proposed site. For that reason, members of the state legislature like CA Sen. Mike McGuire have expressed opposition as well.
While enlisting the experience of the Chickasaw Nation might answer the expertise question, it might not do much to belay fears around market saturation and environmental impact. It also may not address the issue of where the Koi Nation will get the funding to develop the property if it gets everything it wants.
Currently, the fate of the casino lies in the hands of the Dept. of the Interior. If that goes as the Koi Nation hopes, then the dispute will shift back to the local area and the offices of state officials.