Business & Real Estate

Elk Grove council postpones action on casino referendum

Wilton Rancheria wants to build Sacramento County's first tribal casino on the site of these unfinished structures of an ill-fated mall project on Promenade Parkway in Elk Grove.
Wilton Rancheria wants to build Sacramento County's first tribal casino on the site of these unfinished structures of an ill-fated mall project on Promenade Parkway in Elk Grove. Sacramento Bee file

The Elk Grove City Council postponed action regarding a special election to decide whether a proposed $400 million Indian casino is built in the city.

City spokeswoman Kristyn Nelson said the council continued the item on Wednesday night’s agenda and is expected to take up the matter in two weeks.

The Wilton Rancheria Indian tribe seeks to build a casino adjacent to a long-planned shopping mall near Highway 99 at the south edge of the city. The mall’s developer, Howard Hughes Corp., says it needs the casino to drive traffic to the mall.

The council in October amended the development agreement for the property to pave the way for the casino. But casino opponents conducted a successful petition drive calling for a referendum that would overturn the council’s action.

It wasn’t until three weeks after the petitions were submitted that the group behind the petition drive was revealed as Knighted Ventures LLC. The Emeryville company provides financial services to card rooms, including Parkwest Casino Lotus on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento and Parkwest Casino Cordova in Rancho Cordova.

The City Council can either call a special election to let voters decide the issue, or go along with the petitioners’ demands and reverse its October decision.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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