Sacramento’s Sky River Casino opens ahead of schedule

The Sky River Casino, Sacramento County’s first tribal facility, which was supposed to open in September, is reported to open two weeks early on Monday, at midnight, putting the casino two weeks ahead of schedule.

Boyd Gaming built and developed the casino located in Elk Grove, 15 miles south of downtown Sacramento, for the Wilton Rancheria Tribe. According to reports, the Nevada-based business will run the casino for the next seven years.

Despite the fact that it opened ahead of schedule, the newly established casino had a large number of visitors, as evidenced by the fact that the parking lot was crowded and hundreds of people were already gaming at 3 a.m. on the first day. Sky River Casino is said to be hiring 2,000 staff in the area to accommodate the influx of guests.

Casinos are known as tremendously profitable businesses, and it is anticipated that Sky River Casino will bring in $125 million to the local economy over the next few years.

Sky River Casino has a total of 300,000 square feet, with one-third of the space, or 100,000 square feet, dedicated to gaming activities, which is backed by 80 tablets and a whopping 2,000 slot machines. Other facilities at the casino include 17 restaurants and bars, including a tap room for beer enthusiasts and a steakhouse.

Officials refer to the newly launched casino as “Sac Vegas,” and some say it is a true dream come true after years of preparation at the abandoned mall complex in Elk Grove.

“Game changer”

Sky River Casino’s president, Chris Jibase, made a bold remark about the casino, saying,

“This is a game changer, an entertainment complex like no other.”

The chairman of Wilton Rancheria, Jesus Tarango, also made a remark about the casino, underlining the historical aspect of the location with the citizens of Elk Grove, saying,

“I think it goes back to the ghost mall, so the residents of Elk Grove remember what this place looked like and so to see what it is now and what it is going to become it truly is a special moment, important to Elk Grove and also my people.”

However, it is claimed that not all of the eateries in the casino are open on their first day of business, partially because administrators made a last-minute decision to open at midnight.

In terms of how to become a member of the Sky River Casino, it has been noted that visitors can apply for the registration process online.

Prior to this, Station Casinos, a competitor of Boyd Gaming, developed a casino on behalf of the United Auburn Indian Community, named the Thunder Valley Casino Resort, located north of Sacramento, highlighting that the Sky River Casino isn’t the first casino built by a Las Vegas casino company for a tribal project.

However, Station Casinos is said to have only administered the Thunder Valley Casino Resort until 2010, or for seven years before the tribes took over the casino’s full operations. This was also the situation with the Graton casino, located north of San Francisco, where the tribes took over operations in 2021 after the Station Casinos oversaw the business for seven years prior.

Wilton Rancheria

Wilton Rancheria is a federally recognized Native American tribe of Miwok people based in northern California. (wikipedia)

Elk Grove, California

Elk Grove is a city in Sacramento County, California, located just south of the state capital of Sacramento. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. (wikipedia)