An opening date has yet to be announced for the $360 million Hollywood Casino Jamul, which is situated on the tribe’s federally recognized reservation in East County, San Diego.

In the interim, chairwoman of the Jamul Indian Village, Erica Pinto, addresses concerns regarding the casino slated to open by the summer’s end on the sovereign land of her tribe, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Pinto states that for more than 20 years the tribe, which is one of 13 bands of the Kumeyaay Nation has fought to achieve the same economic independence that other tribes in San Diego have achieved. The tribe signed a compact with the state of California in 1999, as did many other tribes. The goal being economic self-sufficiency and a better life for tribal members, stated Pinto.

On August 4 this year, a 25-year tribal-state gaming compact between the Jamul Indian Village and the state was signed by Governor Jerry Brown. The compact establishes the terms under which the tribe’s Hollywood Casino Jamul will operate. Due to its status as a sovereign nation, the tribe isn’t legally obligated to have a business agreement with San Diego County, nor does it need the county’s support to open the casino it’s been planning for more than 15 years. Back in April, a formal agreement between the tribe and San Diego County was approved by the Board of Supervisors and at that time Pinto said that the tribe wanted to do the right thing for the community and be a good neighbor.

According to Pinto, despite the agreements between the tribe and state and county governments to pursue the project; efforts to design the casino in keeping with the history and surroundings; the tribe’s commitment to make road improvements; and improvements to fire and life safety services, opponents of the project continue to object. The most recent being by the Jamul Action Committee, formerly known as Jamulians Against the Casino, which has an appeal pending with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and is also looking to have the casino’s liquor license rescinded, at least until such time as the road improvements suggested by the residents are made by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Pinto says the tribe recognizes “the challenges and concerns of Highway 94, which residents say is a death trap.

Pinto says that for 25 years the tribe has worked on plans and remedies intended to address traffic issues and that an approximately $20 million commitment has been made by the tribe toward improvements Caltrans has identified. As well as $3.7 million more for road improvements requested by San Diego County as part of the agreement signed in April. Those improvements, along with a traffic signal on Highway 94, Pinto says, will continue in planned phases. Pinto echoed the recent statement issued by the Jamul Indian Village assuring that it is “wholeheartedly devoted to community safety.”

Pinto wrapped up the address by stating that the creation of the Hollywood Casino is intended to benefit more than just the tribe. And that to date, more than 1,000 permanent jobs and 1,500 construction jobs have been created by the facility, and that it “will present new opportunities for local businesses, resulting in significant contributions to the overall economy of the area, county, and region,” according to the news agency.

13 Responses

  1. borninmombasa

    “Back in April, a formal agreement between the tribe and San Diego County was approved by the Board of Supervisors and at that time Pinto said that the tribe wanted to do the right thing for the community and be a good neighbor.”…….what she meant to say was that Penn Gaming got 2 county supervisors to roll over and dismiss the county’s lawsuit because ,in violation of California law ,a building twice as large as the biggest Walmart in America got built on a two lane road with no CEQUA review. By the way has the Federal government ever grant reservation status to tribes in error of Federal law……and has the supreme court ever corrected those errors ?


    Do Native Americans find it offensive that they have been deemed incapable of earning a living other than being on the casino dole? Kinda weird how that is the main argument- “it’s our only chance at economic prosperity. Our people cannot do anything else.”
    Does it ever occur to them that they are living off the misery of degenerate gamblers? All the while snakes, like Penn are using them for their own agenda. The whole thing is just so wrong on many levels.

    • Avatar photo
      Lars Jones

      All opinions are welcome, however, we would ask you to tone down the rhetoric, such as referring to Penn National Gaming as a snake. Although some find them to be lovely creatures, others may find snakes to be less than desirable. Your stated lack of esteem for the self-determination of others is also found to be offensive. Please present cogent arguments without ad hominem attacks if you would like to continue to enjoy commenting privileges on World casino News

    • George

      Why would they want to do any thing else the casino business is very profitable. ITS A BUSINESS. Disney targets children dose that make them a weird?

  3. Jim

    What a joke! The only thing the JIV is focused on is how much money they can make. Forget the impact to the community or anyone else for that matter. I would not support this casino if they paid me, but then again that seems to be their solution for gain everyone else’s approval.

  4. Justin Jacobs

    i live in the area and must say…the tribe has done a lot to mitigate traffic and other impacts of the casino. Something like $20 million or more on road improvements for quite a distance from the actual business. They can try all they want, but some area residents will never be satisfied, so the tribe should just do the best they can and create a great project that generates thousands of jobs and boosts lots of area businesses. Not everyone in the area is against the project. They are doing a decent job. Years from now, we’ll all look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. he BTW, the lawyers took the community for a $$$ ride. They created false hope, raised tons of money from local residents… and lost at every turn.


      The road improvements you speak of have not occurred as promised. The only improvement that the JIV has done is directly in front of their project. Adding 9,000 car trips a day to an already dangerous SR94 and add alcohol to the mix? it’s a recipe for disaster. The jobs you speak of are low paying and have been filled mostly from Tecate, Mexico residents. Boost area businesses? Study after study has been done regarding a casino moving in and area businesses. The local businesses can’t compete with a casino and close up shop. Crime rises exponentially, Traffic rises exponentially. Noise and light pollution rises exponentially.

      The appeal has been filed in the US appeals court regarding the land is not a reservation. Caltrans and SDG&E have to defend why they allowed a new circuit and undergrounding of a powerline using taxpayers money and without CEQA in state court.

      The JIV has never been a good neighbor. They have not donated anything to the community or local schools. Contributions to the community and region? In their re-negotiated compact, the JIV doesn’t have to pay into the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund for non-gaming tribes for 8 years. But they sure benefited from it to the tune of $16 million. So how is that contributing? They can’t even contribute to the other tribes in the state. What makes you think they will contribute to the community?

      • George

        Why should they? They got the money from somewhere and built a casino simply as that. It’s what we all wake up in the morning to do (make money). Can’t blam them or be jealous of them for making more than us.

  5. Marcy

    Can someone please produce paperwork to prove that the JIV has been federally recognized as a reservation??? The only thing Jerry Brown signed was a tribal-state gaming contract. That could be a card room which is what they said they would have in the beginning.

  6. pepper

    So many jobs and new businesses that will take part in this operation that will be grand. If you do not like it do not go, Fast food can cause weight can too, so eat less too.

  7. 1stHandExperience

    Penn National Gaming has a tremendous committment to the communities they’re in. When you say they haven’t donated any money to your community, well, you actually have to let them open and make some money before that happens…and it will. There is a Penn National Gaming casino in our community. They have single-handedly saved multiple local charities and non-profits, including the local YMCA. They actually do a great job in the community and take a lot of pride in that. By the way, the lawsuits will all fail, just as they have all the way through the appeals process. Check your stats on cases appealed all the way up to the 9th Circuit. Only a sliver of those appeals win, and the ones that do actually have merit, unlike this one. Jamul’s community is going to benefit in spite of its best efforts not to, and that’s good for all sides. If it’s really so offensive to people in Jamul, they should move; because the casino is going to open, people are going to go there, and the great wheel of progress will continue to roll forward.


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