In Elk Grove, California, a proposed Indian gaming venue has been under heavy fire from the beginning. Now, a new television commercial has been created by a nonprofit group blasting the project. Without citing viable studies or accepted statistics, the public opinion campaign states that the casino would bring drugs, prostitution, bankruptcy, and other issues to the community if allowed to be created.
The commercial is 30 seconds long and aired on KXTV-ABC 10 this past weekend, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee. The spot appears to be sponsored by the Council on Prosperity and Accountability. The organization seems to have connections with two Sacramento card clubs and its registered agent was behind a signature drive earlier to place a voter referendum on the ballot which would stop the Wilton Rancheria Indian tribe from opening the $400 million casino.
The registered agent for the organization is Ashlee Titus, an attorney from the Sacramento area. In November Titus submitted signatures in an effort to see a referendum created on behalf of Knighted Ventures LLC. The company provides financial services to Silver F Inc., a company that owns two card clubs in Sacramento, according to the SacBee. The card rooms include the Parkwest Casino Cordova and Parkwest Casino Lotus.
A statement was released yesterday by the organization that said they are going to continue their fight against the gaming project. In the statement to the Sacramento Bee, the group said that citizens of Elk Grove have been clear about protecting their families and local businesses from the mega-casino proposal impacts, having voiced their opinion of concern of the city conducting secret negotiations with land developers, gaming companies and tribal interests.
Region Business is a group that has sided with the Wilton tribe who called the ad hypocritical and said it was a desperate attempt for a gaming establishment to attack another organization by saying gaming is bad. The ad could be damaging to the tribe’s interests as the project would bring about thousands of jobs as well as an economic future to the area.
The casino would not only bring revenues to the area but a retail mall is also at risk. Howard Hughes Corp., has plans to develop a mall in the south area of Elk Grove but has stated that for traffic to be brought to the area, a gaming venue is needed. The city amended Hughes’ development plan for the mall in October to allow the corporation to sell part of the property to the tribe. That leaves the project vulnerable to opponents swaying public opinion and leaves the fate of the casino in local voters and the city council’s hands.
The council has the ability to block the casino project outright or call for an election. A decision is expected to be made this month.