Koi Nation Casino in California to Undergo Public Scrutiny

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Residents of Windsor, California, and the surrounding areas have a chance to weigh in on a proposed Koi Nation casino in Windsor this week. On Wednesday, a public hearing will be hosted by the US Bureau of Indian Affairs to once again gauge whether there’s enough support for the project.

Koi Nation Enters the Gaming Scene

The purpose of this hearing is to collect feedback from the public regarding the recent environmental study that was published for the proposed Koi Nation casino. This property is planned to be situated in Shiloh County, located just on the outskirts of Windsor, California.

Related: California Gambling Bill Leaves San Jose Officials Frustrated

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has put forth four choices for the 68-acre project and is offering the public a chance to voice their opinions. The possibilities include a massive 800,000-plus square foot casino and hotel, a slightly smaller version of around 550,000 square feet, and a third option focused on non-gaming endeavors, encompassing 186,000 square feet of property. It is indeed an exceptional chance for public input.

The ultimate authority in deciding on the project lies with the Secretary of the Interior, who holds jurisdiction over the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the tribe will establish a gaming compact with both the office of the California governor and federal legislators.

The Federal government has already granted tribal protection status to the Koi Nation through a deed secured when the indigenous tribe acquired the territory in September of last year. Subsequently, this past March, the community took legal action by initiating a lawsuit with the US Department of the Interior to request that the land be placed under communal ownership through a trust.

As of now, this petition remains under review. In addition to the communities, no less than four additional tribes have expressed their dissent by way of written correspondence, disapproving of the Koi project.

Tribes Try to Block Koi Nation

In the vicinity, prominent tribes such as Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Dry Creek Rancheria, Cloverdale Rancheria, and Kashia hold significant ownership in establishments like Graton Resort and Casino, River Rock Casino, in close proximity to Rohnert Park and Geyserville, respectively. Collectively referred to as the Indian Pomo, these tribes have been engaged in matters concerning Sonoma County. However, despite the unanimous opposition by Sonoma County Supervisors in April 2022, their decision held no jurisdiction over the project.

Ever since September 2021, when Koi first broke the news about the casino, the inhabitants of Shiloh have consistently and assertively expressed their opposition. That opposition will likely be much louder this Wednesday.