The phony clinking coins of Vegas-style slot machines won’t be coming to the East Bay anytime soon, after the Interior Department vetoed a proposal for an Indian casino near Richmond.
The Scotts Valley Pomo Indians wanted to build the casino 30 acres north of Richmond near the waterfront and in an unincorporated area. The Feds turned them down, saying the tribe — which has land in Lake County — had no significant historical ties to the location.
The casino would have rivaled any Vegas hot spot with its 2,000 slot machines and 50 gambling tables.
The city of Richmond would have joined in on any jackpots, as the tribe offered $330 million over 20 years in exchange for municipal services and support in gaining federal approval for the plan.
Numerous environmental groups in protest of the plan were rejected by state courts. A challenge by low-income subdivision Parchester Village was also rejected.
Interior Department regulations state that tribes must have significant connection to land slated for construction. The tribe needed federal approval as the department would have had to hold the land in trust on the tribe’s behalf.
A similar scenario unfolded in September when the Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians’ casino plans were rejected in a similar ruling. Its casino would have been built on Richmond’s Point Molate shoreline.