After an exhaustive battle for economic independence which has spanned more than two decades, at 2pm today Jamul Indian Village (JIV) of California will open the doors of its $390 million Hollywood Casino Jamul – San Diego to the public.
The highly anticipated announcement was revealed by Penn National on Wednesday, October 5 on the heels of the Tribe’s final regulatory approval from the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) in June. On Thursday, August 4 California Governor Jerry Brown signed a 25-year tribal-state gaming compact with the JIV.
The historic opening will be preceded by a ribbon cutting ceremony for members of JIV of the Kumeyaay Nation and executive team members of Penn National Gaming, Inc., which will take place at 11am. Penn National was retained by the JIV to develop and serve as manager of the facility which is located off State Route 94, approximately 20 miles east of downtown San Diego.
Chairwoman of JIV, Erica Pinto, said “Our dream is finally becoming a reality,” and, “I am so grateful for everyone who has helped make this possible for our people, including current and previous Tribal Councils of Jamul Indian Village, our developers Penn National Gaming and the many professionals we’ve had the pleasure of working with along the way,” according to the news release.
The 200,000 square foot facility features a grand entry where stairs lead to the casino floor. The gaming venue is home to more than 1,700 slots and video poker machines, 43 live table games including roulette, blackjack, craps, Mississippi Stud, Mini Baccarat, Three and Four Card Poker, Pai Gow, Let It Ride, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and Fortune Asia Poker, along with eight dining and entertainment venues, including the first ever Tony Gwynn’s Sports Pub. The pub honors the late Padres Hall of Fame star, who played 20 seasons with the San Diego MLB club, and is a source of pride for the Tribe. The facility also boasts an eight-story below-ground parking garage that accommodates 1,800 vehicles.
Richard St. Jean, vice president and general manager of Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego told East County Magazine that more dining facilities are planned including a coffee house, diner, and rooftop beer garden, as well as a members-only bar. St. Jean said club members can play there and stay in Las Vegas free of charge, or vice versa. The member benefit is made possible by Penn National’s ownership of other gaming properties, as reported by the news agency. The casino is open 24/7 and while it does not have a hotel, arrangements have been made with local lodging establishments. There is also a comfortable room for high-rollers.
JIV is one of 13 bands of the federally recognized Kumeyaay Nation of Southern California. The Tribe can be traced back 12,000 years to 1524 when European contact first occurred at San Diego Bay. According to the JIV, the project created 1,200 construction jobs and approximately 1,000 permanent jobs.