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Oakland Casino Proposal Dropped

American Indian tribe ends its bid to build a gambling center near the airport. Alameda County and local cities had opposed the project.

June 12, 2005|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — An American Indian tribe has dropped its bid to build a casino near Oakland International Airport, abandoning a project that would have brought tribal gambling into the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area.

In a letter to Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente released Friday, developer Legacy Partners, which owns the 35-acre parking lot next to the Arrowhead Marsh wildlife refuge, said the project was "dead."

The Lower Lake Rancheria Koi Nation, whose ancestral home is in Lake County, had offered to pay $30 million annually for 20 years to offset the effects of a 2,000-slot machine casino, but the City Council rejected the tribe's offer in January, citing worries about traffic, environmental degradation and social problems related to gaming.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors, along with the city councils of neighboring Alameda and San Leandro, also opposed the project.

Tribal representatives did not return calls seeking comment Saturday.

Koi Nation, a landless tribe with 44 members of mostly Pomo descent, had hoped to have the 35-acre property placed in federal trust, creating a reservation where it could construct a 230,000-square-foot gambling complex.

Three months ago, the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians backed off plans to build a Las Vegas-style casino in the working-class city of San Pablo, about 15 miles north of Oakland, after federal lawmakers voiced opposition to the plan.

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