A Native American Tribe that has recently been granted federal recognition has stated that it is in the process of planning a casino resort in California’s Wine Country. The proposed location at the moment is north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. The Koi Nation tribe was granted federal recognition in 2019.
Koi Nation Buys 68 Acres in California
Recently, the tribe acquired 68 acres of land in Sonoma County for $12.3 million. The land that it has bought was previously used as a vineyard and a private residential estate. Since purchasing the land, the Koi Nation has submitted the land to the US Department of the Interior, requesting the land be taken into its federal trust. Should it be successful, the land would become its sovereign territory.
Once the land becomes the tribe’s sovereign territory, it will obtain federal privileges to operate a Class II gaming facility on the property. However, should the Koi Nation wish to open a Class III gaming facility, it would need to reach an agreement with the state of California. Class III facilities allow almost all traditional casino games to be offered. This includes slot games, as well as house-banked table games like Roulette and Blackjack.
Plans for $600 Million Casino Resort
The Koi Nation has revealed its plans, should the land be designated its sovereign territory. Its current plan is for a $600 million investment to build a casino resort. The initial plan will be for the casino to offer 2500 slot games and table games. In addition to this, the resort portion will have 200 rooms, six restaurants, a spa, and conference facilities. The tribe has also stated that the casino and resort would be strictly non-smoking.
Local officials in Sonoma County are unlikely to be thrilled with the plans. They have traditionally been opposed to tribal casinos in the area. However, unfortunately for them, Federal law would supersede any objections in this case. Sonoma County already has two tribal casinos with slots and table games and three card clubs.