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Jamul Casino Construction Begins In San Diego’s East County

JAMUL — Construction is underway on a controversial casino project on the Jamul Indian Reservation in San Diego's East County, the builders announced Friday.

The $360 million Hollywood Casino at the Jamul Indian Village, about 20 miles east of downtown San Diego along state Route 94, is expected to be open late next year.

The three-story gaming and entertainment facility will be around 200,000 square feet, with more than 1,700 slot machines, 50 live table games including poker, multiple restaurants, bars and lounges and an enclosed below-grade parking structure with more than 1,900 spaces.

"We are very excited that our long-time dream will finally become a reality," said Raymond Hunter, chairman of the Jamul Indian Village of California. "We have worked tirelessly for well over a decade listening to the voices of the community, addressing concerns, and ultimately developing a project that blends seamlessly into the region, while creating approximately 2,500 much needed construction and permanent jobs in our region."

Nearby residents voiced concerns about increased traffic due to the casino. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob was among the vocal opponents. In a statement, Jacob said:

“The tribe must take us for fools if it thinks a Hollywood-style, Costco-sized casino would blend seamlessly into rural Jamul. The giant gaming complex might generate profits for the tribe and its developer, but at the expense of the community’s quality of life. The tribe needs to follow the law and delay construction until an adequate environmental review of the traffic impacts has been completed. The county will be taking legal action to enforce the law. The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted this week to file a lawsuit against Caltrans over the approval of the tribe’s encroachment permit and temporary management plan. It’s ridiculous to embark on a $360 million project without first ironing out the best way to access it.”

Hunter said the village has worked with Caltrans to develop a traffic management plan for the highway, and hauling of debris from the site will be done toward the southeast, away from businesses and residences.

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