A strong effort has been made to stop Elk Grove from created a proposed Indian Casino with the company involved in the fight now revealed. A state Fair Political Practices Commission filing has revealed that Knighted Ventures LLC is behind efforts to stop the plans for the casino, a company with ties to a card room operator in Sacramento, California.
Located in Emeryville, Knighted Ventures LLC is a company that offers financial services as well as employees to card rooms. In the filing, the group was said to be the ones behind efforts to push a ballot referendum that could potentially stop the Wilton Rancheria Indian tribe from building a casino in Elk Grove with a $400 million price tag. The filing actually took place on the 16th of November but was not made public until yesterday when the state commission decided to dismiss a complaint from a group that is pro-casino.
The release of the information as to who was behind efforts comes weeks after the mystery first began. A group that remained unidentified submitted signatures to the city clerk of Elk Grove on the 21st of November, with 14,800 signatures in total. The group demanded that a voter referendum be created that would overturn the agreement between the city and the tribe as well as the developer of the project. The signatures were actually more than enough, 9,000+ more, but the clerk is still working to verify that all signatures are valid.
Knighted Ventures spokesman, Roger Salazar, stated that the firm has a market interest in the outcome of the fight and they are not trying to hide their connections to the card room business. Salazar further stated that 14 employees of the company live in Elk Grove and the firm believes that voters should be able to say if they want Vegas-style gambling in their area.
Documents as well as court records have shown that the company is connected to Silver F Inc., which is a company that owns four card rooms located in the northern region of the state. This includes two in the Sacramento area. One card room, the Parkwest Casion Lotus, is located about 15 miles north of the site where Elk Grove would be created and is currently undergoing a multimillion dollar expansion.
According to the Sacramento Bee, employees of Knighted Ventures are working in the Parkwest card room and can easily be identified by their badges.
Gary Davis, the Mayor of Elk Grove, supports the casino plans and stated that he is angry that a group affiliated with a card room was trying to block the project, which would be placed on land that the city has tried to see developed for many years. Davis stated that he hopes voters will see this for what it is, calling the anti-casino group fraudulent and self-serving.
It was because of a complaint filed by Region Business that revealed the company behind the fight against the casino plans. Region Business is a group of building contractors who support the casino and who filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission last month, stating that the group behind the voter referendum campaign had not made the necessary campaign finance disclosures.
The complaint was dismissed by the agency yesterday, with the Commission stating that the group had completed the proper filings. In the letter that stated the filings had been dismissed, the Fair Political Practices Commission stated that Knighted Ventures paid for the effort of gathering signatures from their own coffers and how much was spent seems to be unclear.