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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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Avatar for user 'Kimjamul'

Kimjamul | January 10, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. ― 3 years, 2 months ago

For those who love stories of greed and dishonesty... look no further than the Jamul Casino. Ask the elders who lost their tribe to outsiders, were evicted from their homes, watched as bulldozers leveled them to the ground, and were told they were no longer welcome as tribal members. Too many promises broken from Indian to Indian. Too many lies and back-stabbing. It has become the story of Indian gambling in San Diego: eviction, disenfranchisement, family vs. family, bullying... And the profits? Most of Jamul's will go to out-of-state investors who rob the community and wreak disfunction on tribal culture. It's an ugly, ugly story.

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Avatar for user 'commenting12'

commenting12 | January 10, 2014 at 4:10 p.m. ― 3 years, 2 months ago

Kimjamul: How mean-spirited and hateful. I can sympathize with those who oppose the casino based on the change to their community, but so many opponents in Jamul are so mean and anti-Native American. Do you really think, for one minute, that Kimjamul and those like her really care about how some Jamul tribal members were treated. No, it's not like they really care how the one family was treated...they just want to magnify it to demonize the entire Jamul tribal community. And the whole broad-stroke statements about how this is "the story of Indian gambling in San Diego." No, actually it isn't. That's not typical at all of Indian gambling in San Diego. Locally it's been relatively peaceful. Evictions, disenrollments, etc. are rarely an issue locally. So, although I understand the emotions involved, it's really not productive to oppose the project by being hateful and over the top. Traffic -- valid concern. Impact on quiet rural life -- Valid concern. Otherwise, just a bunch of haters.

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | January 11, 2014 at 7:39 a.m. ― 3 years, 2 months ago

aren't they worried about building on "sacred ground"?

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Avatar for user 'jacjamul'

jacjamul | January 11, 2014 at 3 p.m. ― 3 years, 2 months ago

commenting12: Do you live in Jamul? Do live off of a state highway? Do you have an indian casino within 2 miles of your home? Do you fear for your life driving on the highway you use to drive your children to school? We in Jamul are not mean and anti-Native American. We tried to save the 19 individuals and their homes because they were part of our community. The native american indians who kicked their own relatives out of the tribe just because they did not want a casino and then destroyed their homes don't even or have ever lived on the property. We want the property back in the hands of the real Jamul Indians who lives were destroyed. Unless you live here you do not know what you are talking about. Please go see the website and understand a little more before commenting on what is going on in Jamul.

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Avatar for user 'theREALamericans'

theREALamericans | January 13, 2014 at 9:40 a.m. ― 3 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like the locals are crying "not in my neighborhood" on this one. Seems to me this is a bit of karma coming back around as I'm pretty sure the NATIVE AMERICANS as a whole have been screwed over time and again by those now claiming this area as THEIR community. Wouldn't all the money that's being spent on frivolous lawsuits to delay this tribe their given right to develop on sovereign tribal land might be better spent on finding solutions to all the traffic concerns everyone is crying about. The lawyers are loving this one all the way to the bank with your tax dollars… and in the end likely to the new Hollywood Casino at Jamul come late next year after it's all tossed out of the courts AGAIN.

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Avatar for user 'RLA'

RLA | January 13, 2014 at 1:14 p.m. ― 3 years, 2 months ago

Apparently common sense and the good of the community have once again been over ruled by $$$BIG MONEY$$$ . While I don't live in Jamul, I use Highway 94 frequently and I am very concerned that the added traffic will be a major problem for those who use the road. My problems with the casino are minuscule when compared with the local residents. I find it interesting to note that common sense opposition is immediately branded as "racist" in the second comment on this topic. How simple to trot out that tired argument for every issue or controversy.

I don't envy the local residents who will bear the brunt of the impact of this misguided project.

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Avatar for user 'commenting12'

commenting12 | January 13, 2014 at 3:39 p.m. ― 3 years, 2 months ago

KimJamul: No I don't live in Jamul, but I drive the 94 several times a I am very, very familiar with the traffic issue. (And where has the Jamul Planning Commission been all these years, when they should have been pushing for upgrades to Highway 94??) And, yes, I do in fact live within 2 miles of a casino. I've spent time on your website and I've been at meetings where I've heard some of the mean things people have said about Native Americans in a very broad stroke. Just mean and unecessary. And mis-information about Native Americans and gambling. Like saying (as you have) that the Indian Casinos don't pay taxes, are not regulated and are corrupt. In fact, they pay fees to the state that far exceed the usual corporate tax rate, so they more than make up for that (along with payments to the SDF and local governments, and philanthropy) and they are very highly regulated. And, again, another example: your statement about how this is "the story of Indian gambling in San Diego." No, actually it isn't. That's not typical at all of Indian gambling in San Diego. Locally it's been relatively peaceful. Evictions, disenrollments, etc. are rarely an issue locally. I havent called anyone racist. I just, personally, think many of the opponents have said mean, anti-Indian things out of ignorance, emotional exuberance or just trying to mis-represent things. I'm just saying that I think you'd be better off sticking to the core message -- traffic and rural lifestyle. Going over the top doesn't help your cause; it hurts.

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