Biggest Casino in California Plans Large Expansion

California state flag blowing in the wind
California’s largest gaming venue has plans to grow even bigger. Last week, tribal leaders from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria filed a notice with the city of Rohnert Park. The notice was to inform the city and Sonoma County officials of plans to expand the Graton Resort and Casino.

Graton is already the biggest casino in the Golden State. The massive casino resort has more than 300,000 square feet of casino floor space. Since opening in 2013, the casino resort has already expanded once. In 2016, Graton added a 200-room hotel near the casino.

The newest expansion proposal would add more than 140,000 square feet onto the casino floor. Also, it would include a new hotel tower and other amenities. If approved, the project would help Graton maintain its status as the largest casino resort in California.

A Closer Look at Graton

The Graton Resort and Casino first opened less than a decade ago in 2013. Three years after it opened, the casino added a 200-room hotel. It currently has the largest casino floor in the state of California.

At the Graton, guests have access to more than 140 table games and 3,000 slot machines. The gaming floor stretches across 320,000 square feet. There is also a VIP section with high-limit slots and table games available.

In addition to the real money gambling options, the Graton Resort and Casino also offers a highly-rated hotel. The 200-room structure currently has a AAA Four-Diamond rating. Guests have access to a fitness center, full-service spa and salon, as well as a pool area. There are also multiple restaurants located on-site.

Plans for Graton Resort and Casino Expansion

Earlier this month, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria proposed an expansion for the Graton Resort and Casino. If approved, the project would increase the size of the casino resort by 50%. The proposal includes plans to expand both the casino and resort portions of the Graton.

On the casino side, the plans call for an additional 144,000 square feet of gaming floor to be added. That would make Graton’s casino floor measure more than 450,000 square feet. In addition to allowing for more gaming options, it would secure Graton’s ranking as the largest casino floor.

The resort portion of the Graton would also be expanded. Under the current plan, a new hotel tower with 221 guest rooms would be built. Also, the proposal calls for a new movie theater, parking garage, and an expansion to the swimming pool area. The tribe is also proposing adding a rooftop restaurant.

Why Is Graton Expanding?

The Graton is one of the newest casino resorts in California. However, tribal leaders are planning its second expansion in less than a decade. The proposed expansion has been in the works for some time. However, the timing appears to line up with two major market changes.

First and foremost, there is a new casino that plans to open in Sonoma County. The Koi Nation announced plans for the new casino project last fall. With a new casino popping up just 15-miles away, Graton needed to be proactive.

Another factor is the potential for legal sports betting. California voters will have a chance to legalize sports this November. If sports betting is legalized in the Golden State, having a newly renovated venue could help attract bettors.

Barriers to the Graton Resort and Casino Expansion

The proposed expansion of the Graton Resort and Casino would be a massive win for the tribe. However, there are several factors that could derail the Federate Indians of Graton Rancheria’s plans.

In order to move forward with the project, the tribe needs to receive approval from Sonoma County. To help make their case, the tribe is conducting an ongoing environmental study into the effects of the casino resort. The study will examine effects on water resources, air quality, noise issues, and more.

Another factor that could delay the project is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The tribe planned an expansion years ago, but it was put off by the start of the pandemic. If cases increase again this fall, it could push back the expansion again.

Conclusion

After years of delays, the Federate Indians of Graton Rancheria have proposed an expansion to their Sonoma County casino.  The Graton Resort and Casino already features the largest casino floor in California. If the proposal is approved, the casino resort would increase in size by 50%.