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Rohnert Park's Graton Rancheria casino - Update

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December 8, 2008

ROHNERT PARK - The financial backer of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria for building a casino in Rohnert Park could be facing bankruptcy. The company, Station Casinos, is over $5 billion in debt and may not be able to pay its creditors on December 31st.

Christopher Snow, an analyst with CreditSights in New York, is an expert on Station Casinos' finances. He said "Even if they manage to get their own house in order, they are not going to get financing to build new casinos. I don't see that project (Rohnert Park casino) getting off the ground until there is a significant improvement in the markets."

The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria plan a 760,000 square-foot casino and a 12-story hotel. Last May the federal government agreed to take the land into federal trust as sovereign tribal territory. This prompted its opposition to file a lawsuit in the federal district court to stop the transfer. So far there has been no movement in the case.

However, Marilee Montgomery, a spokesperson for Stop the Casino 101, says "If (Station Casinos) were to drop out of the project, then Graton Rancheria would have to find another partner, which means the environmental review would have to go back to the beginning. The EIR process is all about approval of the management contract."

Neither the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria nor Station Casinos have made public comments on the issue.

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