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January 26, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - The new year brings new questions for the two tribes hoping to build Las Vegas-style casinos in the East Bay. The Scotts Valley Band of Pomos plan to build a $200 million casino in North Richmond, and the Guidiville Rancheria Band of Pomos plan a $1.5 billion casino resort at Point Molate in Richmond. The San Pablo Lytton Casino still wants to expand its slot machine operation.

Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians
Sugar Bowl Casino
This project will cost $200 million to build a 225,000-square-foot casino with 1,940 Vegas-style slot machines. The location is a 30-acre industrial site in North Richmond along Richmond Parkway bounded by Goodrick Avenue on the East and Parr Boulevard to the south.
The project has successfully completed the federal environmental review, but a state EIR has hit a legal obstacle. Last August Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barbara Zuniga ruled an agreement between Richmond and the tribe violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The 2006 agreement would pay Richmond $335 million in tribal funds over 20 years in exchange for police, fire and other services. The court ruling is currently on appeal.

Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians
Point Molate Resort
This project will cost $1.5 billion to build a "five star casino resort" on 220 acres at Point Molate on the San Pablo Peninsula. It includes a 225,000-square-foot casino with 2,500 slot machines, an 1,100-room hotel, and a 300,000- square-foot shopping mall.
The original financial backer was Harrahs Entertainment, who dropped out is now replaced by the Rumsey Band of Wintuns, who operate the Cache Creek Casino.

Lytton Band of Pomo Indians
San Pablo Lytton Casino
This tribe still hopes to expand its number of slot machines from the current 1,100. In 2004 they signed a mega-casino compact with Gov. Schwarzenegger to operate 5,000 Vegas-style slot machines, but the legislature took no action to ratify it.

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