Kendall James

The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria had its federal recognition as a California tribe restored in 2000. The tribe has wanted to build a casino in Northern California to raise revenue ever since. After 13 years of waiting, the tribe announced the grand opening of the Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park.

The Graton tribe worked closely with Station Casinos to build the tribe. Station Casinos has also signed a contract to manage the property until 2020. Both the casino and the tribe are confident that the new casino will be extremely profitable.

The casino was scheduled to open at 10 am on Tuesday. However, the turnout was even larger than Station Casinos expected. They decided to open the doors an hour early. Joe Hasson, the general manager of the Graton, was amazed that so many patrons visited on the first day.

The employees spent several weeks in practice runs. However, the establishment was far busier than they prepared for. The casino reached capacity and had to stop taking new customers around 4:30.

The casino is expected to generate a substantial amount of revenue for the Graton tribe and Sonoma County. One study published in the Press Democrat estimated that it will generate approximately $533 million a year.

Hasson pointed out that Sonoma is already a popular tourist destination. Many people visit Sonoma to go winetasting every year. Hasson said that the casinos is one more reason people will visit the county. This will help many businesses in Sonoma and increase revenue for many social programs.

Despite the benefits of the new casino, citizens of Sonoma County debate whether the casino will help the community. Some are worried about the social risks that the casino may bring, but others feel that it will help overall.


Kendall James
Kendall James - Kendall has been covering the gaming industry for over 7 years. Kendall lives in San Francisco with his wife and black Labrador. Kendall often travels to Sacramento and Nevada to covers legislative hearings and iGaming conferences.