Sonoma County Supervisors Reject Koi Nation Casino Proposal

Koi Nation Casino Background
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors unanimously rejected the Koi Nation’s proposed casino on 69 acres of vineyards at East Shiloh road on Tuesday.

With a 5-0 vote, the resolution came without any discussion apart from the short comment made by board chair supervisor James Gore who thanked his colleagues and the five Sonoma tribes who were one in opposing the casino project.

“I respectfully oppose this development, but yet I just want to thank my colleagues for doing this in the right way.”

Non-Sonoma County Tribe

The resolution referred to the Koi Nation as a “non-Sonoma County tribe”, a similar language used by the other five Sonoma Country tribes when they voiced their opposition to the $600 million proposal.

The Graton Rancheria, owners of the Graton Resort and Casino near Rohnert Park; the Dry Creek Rancheria, which owns the River Rock Casino near Geyserville, the Cloverdale Rancheria, and the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians all submitted their own resolutions to the board stating their objecting to the project.

However, the Gaming Board’s resolution is the strongest opposition from the local government to the Koi Nation’s casino proposal. However, it does not necessarily mean that the casino project is dead as it will be up to the United States Department of the Interior to approve the Koi Nation’s land-to-trust application and confirm that the project meets the requirements of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. However, that process could take years to complete.

Shiloh Resort and Casino

Last September, the Koi Nation announced plans to reestablish its tribal land base by building the Shiloh Resort and Casino. The said project was to include 2,500 slot and other gaming machines, a 200-room hotel, six restaurants and food service areas, a spa, and meeting center. The tribe had partnered with the Chickasaw Nation, a much larger tribe with 23 owned casinos in Oklahoma.

The Koi Nation is one of 109 federally recognized Indigenous tribes in California and is part of the southeastern Pomo people with most of its 90 members living in Sonoma County.

Koi Tribe officials have claimed that their ancestors were forcibly removed from their land by a pattern of genocide, enslavement, and diseases that devastated the Pomo people and other tribes.The tribe struck two federal treaties that were not honored and their former ranchiera in Lake County was uninhabitable.