Lincoln, California is going to get more slot machines via Thunder Valley Casino Resort. The tribe that owns the casino signed a new agreement with the state of California. The new compact may redirect $9 million from California to Placer County. The tribe would need to pay less per annum to the state general fund. It is estimated the payment would be reduced by $25 million. It would increase its payments to a trust fund that benefits the tribes who do not have casinos. The new compact is set to end in 2041.
Doug Elmets, spokesman for United Auburn Community, the tribe that owns Thunder Valley, stated, “The tribe and the state negotiated a new long-term gaming compact that helps secure the future of the tribe while also benefiting the state and the local economy of Placer County.
Governor Jerry Brown’s office was not available for comment Friday afternoon. The office did provide a press release stating United Auburn is going to become one of the larger contributors to the trust fund to help other tribes that have limited gambling or no casinos at all. The tribe is going to contribute $18 million to the shared fund. The previous agreement had only $2 million going into the trust, with a high fee to the state.
The compact, according to the governor’s statement, “reflects a continued commitment by the tribe to revenue sharing with non-gaming and limited gaming tribes so that the economic benefits of gaming reach tribal governments that have not chosen to operate a tribal casino.”
The old compact was negotiated between the tribe and Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004. The agreement limited the slot machines due to the amount the tribe had to pay to the state for additional machines. The escalating cost of each machine made sure to limit the addition of new ones.
The casino currently has 2,622 slots, but will be able to add 3,500 more without paying more for each one. United Auburn will also pay $15 million to the state general fund with the option of sending $9 million of that to Placer County for infrastructure projects that are not on Native American Land. The old compact required $40.4 million to go into the state fund.