Friday, November 15, 2013

New Tribal Casino Near San Francisco Offers Close Alternative to Nevada Casinos

Nevada casinos have been facing the threat from California tribal gaming for years.  Having a large property within an hour's drive from San Francisco ups this by a couple of notches.  The San Francisco area has around 11 million people.  Having a large gaming property within a 60-90 minute drive can not be good news to Lake Tahoe and Reno casino properties.

The Casino Journal reports "after years of planning and 16 months of construction, Graton Resort & Casino officially opened its doors to the public earlier this week. The $800‐million facility is the closest full‐service casino to the Bay Area, and ushers in a new level of sophistication and excitement to Northern California."  The property will have 3,000 slot machines and almost 150 table games, along with over a dozen restaurants.  This is a big operation and will definitely draw, in my opinion.

What is new is that with this property near San Francisco, this property might draw customers that would have traveled to other Northern California tribal casinos.  A previous post regarding a tribal property near a large metro area is here.  Do not be surprised if more tribes will attempt to build facilities as close as possible to the major population centers.  That effort might run into trouble with regard to on/off reservation regulations regarding properties, historical lands and the like, but with so much money in gambling, the trend is set.  Another post regarding tribal casino economic impact can be found here and a post highlighting the strong competition California tribal gaming is to Nevada casinos is here.

I've discussed earlier what Reno and Lake Tahoe casinos could do to combat this threat.  It is controversial in nature, but desperate threats could make controversial solutions more palatable.  To learn about what Nevada casinos could do to differentiate themselves from California casinos, read this post.

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