Scrutiny Mounts For Native American Tribe’s Proposed Vallejo Casino

VALLEJO (KPIX 5) — U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein says California has too many casinos already and the Bay Area doesn’t need another one.

Feinstein is leading the effort to squash a Native American tribe’s megaproject in Vallejo.

Feinstein is speaking out as word spreads about a proposed casino in the heart of Vallejo’s city limits.

“How much gambling do we need to have in California?” Feinstein asked Monday.

“I’ve seen the buses pull up at housing projects and take people to gambling facilities from here when the Social Security checks come in. Candidly, that’s not a good expenditure of money for these people,” Feinstein said.

The casino is proposed by the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians, a tribe based almost a hundred miles away in Lake County.

Because these matters are handled by the federal government, the city of Vallejo says it only found out about the project in July even though it has been in the works more than a year.

The plans for the casino even caught city leaders off guard.

Vallejo city manager Daniel Keen said, “We were stunned. We were stunned.”

The casino would be built at the intersection of state Highway 37 and Interstate Highway 80, an already traffic-congested corridor.

The $700 million proposed casino would add to that traffic.

However, it would create jobs. It would be the largest employer in the city, the tribe says.

It would also provide tribal housing.

Tribal council liaison Crista Ray said, “Our goal is to have a homeland for our tribe. Our tribe has been landless for 150 years at a minimum.”

Already, Napa and Solano counties as well as three congressmen have joined Feinstein and the city of Vallejo in opposing the project.

One Vallejo resident said the development could be good for jobs, while another resident said he wasn’t likely to gamble at the casino if it was built.

The process is far from over.

The project application is sitting on the desk of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and they will ultimately determine whether the tribe can reclaim the land as theirs.

The tribe plans on the casino being a very profitable project and the application for the casino says local government would get a portion of the profits from the casino.

More from Emily Turner
Comments

One Comment

  1. Leo Gamboa says:

    Senator Feinstein has other issues that is more important than getting involve with Indian casinos. She is representing the people of California and does not act like it. You should be telling the important proposition that is on November ballot. It looks likes you been bought out by special interest. Represent the people of California, that is your priority. Let the federal government take care of the Indian.

  2. Sal Macasieb says:

    I do not agree with Senator Feinstein reasoning that California has so many casinos already. It goes without saying that the basis of free enterprise in our democratic government is the number of businesses already operating and that any new one should be rejected. Businesses have to compete in providing services and those not performing well would just have to fold up. People will weigh the cost and benefit when they spend their hard earned money. Let the people decide how they will enjoy life. If this new casino does not live to a person’s expectation, he/she will go somewhere else.

    1. Leo Gamboa says:

      Senator Feinstein does does not get it!! She is out of touch to the communities…cities….and the people of California. She is against legalization of Marijuana and Indian Casinos which the voters of CA passed. Is she representing the values of the people of California or special interest.

  3. Sal Macasieb says:

    The City of Vallejo has to weigh heavily on this developing opportunity. Our city has missed a number of opportunities in the past for its development. Look at all the vacant lands. These are gold mines untapped for so many years. We need Mr. Curtola (past business minded mayor) to help us on this. Can’t we imagine, that this opportunity will roll into the development of precious vacant lands. Our city will forever be bankrupt, if we cannot sell the gold mines we are sitting on.

  4. Leo Gamboa says:

    I feel badly for the city of Vallejo. When teachers and police officers and school being consolidated because there is no money. There is no big tax base that the city will generate from. The city officials do not have no vision how to get the tax base when the Mare Island closed. The new mayor and the city councils should have a open mind about the propose casino. Create jobs and tax base and bring people that will spend money in the city of Vallejo.

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