California: Koi Nation gets widespread support for Sonoma County casino project

January 10, 2024 12:54 PM
Photo: Rendering of Koi Nation's planned Sonoma County casino.
  • Conor Murphy, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
January 10, 2024 12:54 PM
  • Conor Murphy, Special to CDC Gaming Reports

The Koi Nation of Northern California has received widespread support from public figures and organizations for its proposed Shiloh Resort & Casino, which will feature a 400-room hotel, a large gaming complex and varied entertainment options.

Story continues below

A large coalition, including current and former elected officials, public agencies, labor unions, tribal governments and members of the public, back the project. Supporters include California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, retired Lake County Sheriff Bryan Martin and Santa Rosa City Councilmembers Tom Schwedhelm and John Sawyer. The project is also endorsed by environmentalists like actor Peter Coyote and several tribal governments, including the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians and the Yurok Tribe.

The Koi Nation is awaiting a decision from the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the environmental assessment of the Shiloh Resort & Casino. After a 60-day public review period that concluded in November, the tribe hopes for a favorable outcome.

Vice Chairman Dino Beltran echoed the support of tribal governments. He is looking to drum up more endorsements, saying, “the Koi Nation believes it has become increasingly important for tribal governments to advocate for one another as we seek to establish and exercise the sovereign rights we all share under federal law. It is our hope that tribal governments continue to join the 18 of our brother and sister tribes that have already voiced support and advocacy for our people’s long-overdue effort to build a self-sustaining economic future through the placement of land into trust for gaming purposes.”

Darin Beltran, chairman of the Koi Nation Tribal Council, expressed gratitude for the support, emphasizing the community’s acknowledgment of the project’s potential benefits for Sonoma County.

“The Koi Nation is overjoyed its proposed project has received overwhelming support from a broad cross-section of the community, fellow tribes and the public,” Beltran said. “The coalition of our supporters share a recognition of the project’s immense value potential for the Sonoma County community and the moral imperative underlying our effort to right historical wrongs and reestablish our people’s tribal land base.”