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Boyd to break ground next week on tribal casino near Sacramento

Boyd Gaming Corp. is set to start building a tribal casino outside Sacramento that has been in the works for years.

The Las Vegas casino operator announced Tuesday it expects to break ground on the Wilton Rancheria tribe’s resort on March 9, “with construction commencing shortly thereafter.”

The casino property, in Elk Grove, California, is 15 miles south of downtown Sacramento and scheduled to open in the second half of 2022, said Boyd, which will develop and manage the project on the tribe’s behalf.

The Wilton Rancheria “has secured full project financing from a third party,” Boyd said, without naming the source of funds.

“This will be a transformative project that will provide resources to invest in housing, education, and healthcare for our more than 800 members, to preserve our language and culture, and to give back to the community for decades to come,” Wilton Tribal Chairman Jesus Tarango said in the release.

The casino is slated to include up to 2,000 slot machines and more than 80 table games.

“After years of planning, our focus will now turn to bringing the tribe’s vision for this project to life,” Boyd President and CEO Keith Smith said in the release.

Boyd declined further comment Tuesday, spokesman David Strow said.

Wilton Rancheria leaders were not available for an interview, spokesman Bob Magnuson said.

The tribe announced in 2016 that it wanted to open a casino in Elk Grove. California lawmakers approved a compact with the Wilton Rancheria in 2017 to allow for development of the project, and the National Indian Gaming Commission approved Boyd’s management contract with the tribe in 2018.

This isn’t the first time a Las Vegas casino company has ventured to Northern California for a tribal project.

Station Casinos developed the Thunder Valley casino north of Sacramento on behalf of a tribal community and managed it under a seven-year agreement that expired in 2010. It managed the Graton casino-resort in Rohnert Park, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, until last month as well, according to a securities filing.

Station also has reached agreements to help develop and operate a tribal casino project north of Madera, in central California.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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