In California, a plan from the federally-recognized Wilton Rancheria tribe to build a $400 million casino resort on 35.9 acres of land in Sacramento County has attracted some anonymous opposition.
According to a report from The Sacramento Bee newspaper, the Wilton Rancheria wants to construct a twelve-story hotel alongside a spa, 30,000 sq ft events space, fitness center and casino with 2,000 slot machines and 84 gaming tables in the city of Elk Grove just south of the state capital of Sacramento.
However, a group calling itself Protect Elk Grove has launched an anti-casino website while distributing fliers through the mail and placing automated telephone calls to local residents in hopes of rallying opposition to the casino.
Little is known about the group but its efforts stirred up debate at the city’s weekly council meeting on Wednesday evening even though a discussion on the proposed casino wasn’t on the agenda. Around 20 residents used the occasion to speak out against the development while six, including a pair of former local law enforcement officers, expressed their support.
The newspaper reported that some of those in attendance had came out in response to the posted fliers while several others mentioned additionally receiving automated telephone calls.
“Who is paying for the robo-calls and the fliers,” asked Paula Maita, who declared that she had lived in Elk Grove for 58 years and was concerned that her neighbors could be influenced by an anonymous source. “Who is trying to defeat this is worth knowing.”
The newspaper explained that the controversial fliers had criticized Elk Grove mayor Gary Davis for supporting the Wilton Rancheria tribe at a town hall-style community meeting the previous week while remaining uncommitted on whether to back the casino proposal.
Neither the fliers nor the Protect Elk Grove website details who is behind the campaign, with Davis stating that he was curious to discover who was responsible for the anti-casino operation as anonymous money can sometimes mean that a sponsor has something to hide.