New Tribal Compact In California A Boost For Graton Rancheria

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on March 15, 2023
Graton California Casino New Compact

If you are looking for a California casino with a large number of slot machines, then the Graton Resort & Casino has to be on the list. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state has entered into a new tribal-state gaming compact with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. The deal allows the tribe to increase the number of slot machines at the Granton Resort in Rohnert Park, CA.

The compact will replace the agreement signed in 2012 and increase the number of slot machines from 3,000 to 6,000. The expanded gaming floor could give the casino the second-largest slot floor in California.

Yaamava’ Resort & Casino in Highland, owned and operated by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, has roughly 7,000 slot machines. 

Slot machines will double at Graton California casino

According to a press release, the compact also “provides additional support for limited and non-gaming tribes through the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund (RSTF).” In a statement, Greg Sarris, tribal chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, said:

“We’re happy to improve our compact with the State of California and continue to provide needed community funds for the City of Rohnert Park, Sonoma County and our state. This compact allows the tribe to grow as a self-sustaining sovereign nation and continue to support our mission of social justice and environmental stewardship.”

The Graton Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian tribe, is comprised of the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo Indians. Tribal lands are located in Rohnert Park and Sonoma County, CA.

Opened in 2013, the Graton Resort & Casino started with:

  • 3,000 slot machines
  • 144 blackjack, poker and baccarat tables
  • Several restaurants

In 2016, the casino added a 200-room hotel, convention space and ballroom.

New compact eliminates contribution cap

Created in 1999, the RSTF provides a revenue-sharing agreement for tribes in California. The goal is to help promote tribal self-sufficiency and support state and local governments. Previously, tribes were only allowed to contribute $1.1 million per year to the RSTF. The new compact does away with the per-year limitation opening the doors for more tribal resources. 

According to the Sonoma County Gazette, local communities fear the increase in slot machines will lead to increased traffic and environmental harm. In response, the tribe has implemented a comprehensive traffic management plan to minimize the impact on the surrounding area.

Gambling aside, restructuring the RSTF is the true benefit of the new California gambling compact. Experts anticipate the RSTF will be able to provide much-needed resources for tribal communities. Allocation benefits to the RSTF can potentially go from $2 million to $2.75 million

According to Jennifer Klein, Sonoma County’s chief deputy county counsel, the county and Rohnert Park would receive 2% of net wins.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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