Redding Rancheria Tribe Dealt Bad Hand in Plan to Move Northern California Win-Star Casino
Posted on: October 4, 2019, 02:00h.
Last updated on: October 4, 2019, 10:06h.
The Redding Rancheria Tribe’s plan to move the Win-River Casino, currently located in Redding, Calif., suffered a setback earlier this week when the Shasta County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to not approve a change of venue for the tribal gaming property.
The Board of Supervisors considered sending two letters to the tribe. Letter “A” opposed the move of Win-Star to land owned by the tribe next to Interstate 5, south of South Bonnyview Road. Letter “B” would have expressed concerns about the idea. The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 in favor of Letter “A.”
That move comes after the Redding City Council in August also opposed Redding Rancheria’s plan to move its gaming property to another site. At that time, the city council said it would work with the tribe to find alternative locations that would not have an adverse impact on the city or its residents.
Local policymakers appear opposed to a plan by Redding Rancheria to open an outdoor amphitheater at the Bonnyview Road location, according to tribal Chairman Jack Potter.
We already have an event center that provides things,” said Potter in an interview with Redding Record Searchlight. “I think what people are failing to see is we’re already providing that service. It’s just going to be an outdoor amphitheater style for the summer months and indoor style in the winter months.”
The supervisors argue that allowing the tribe to move Win-River would promote urban sprawl and harm the local environment.
There’s Still Hope
Located near the California capital of Sacramento, Win-River has 1,000 slot machines, 12 table games, and a gaming area of 75,000 square, which is small compared to many tribal casinos in the southern part of the state.
Just a third of Golden State’s tribal gaming properties are located in Southern California, a region that’s home to about two-thirds of the state’s population.
Nearly three years ago, Redding Rancheria submitted the plan to move Win-River and expand the venue and add a convention center. The tribe said it would like to boost its gaming area to 140,000 square feet and add a 250-room hotel.
While Redding politicians are clearly opposed to the plan, final say on the matter rests with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the federal agency that regulates tribal gaming properties.
Where Opposition Stems From
California’s tribal casinos generate about $8 billion in revenue annually, but those gaming properties aren’t big money makers for the state. In the 2018-19 fiscal year, the state’s general fund was expected to receive just $3.6 million from the state’s tribal gaming venues, down from $330 million two years prior.
That decrease reflects a number of tribal-state compacts that were amended to comply with a federal court ruling prohibiting California from requiring tribes to make payments into the state General Fund upon renegotiation of their compacts,” according to the state’s legislative analyst’s office.
Typically, Golden State tribal casinos are contributors to the towns in which they operate. But Shasta County Supervisor Les Baugh said that while Win-River has delivered economic benefit of $1.5 million over a long period of time, Redding Rancheria pays no casino, hotel, or property taxes to the city.