Casino in Jamul to Open Next Week, Community Leaders Voice Concerns

The Hollywood Casino will host a grand opening on Monday, Oct. 10

A controversial casino in Jamul will be opening its doors next Monday after about 25 years in the making.

The $490 million Hollywood Casino has been at the center of a battle between the Jamul Indian Village of California and the Jamul Action Committee (JAC) for years.

Despite an opening planned for next week, the Jamul Action Committee is hoping that two pending federal lawsuits against the casino will shut it down.

According to Glenn Revell, President of JAC, the lawsuits alleges that the Jamul Indian Village of California is not a federally recognized tribe and the casino is not built entirely on reservation land. Revell also says there are traffic and safety concerns on Highway 94.

“Caltrans says it's a letter grade F and now we're going to serve alcohol and have people truck up and down the road, right in the very community that believes a commercial development this size does not fit the character of the community,” Revell told NBC 7.

But Erica M. Pinto, Chairwoman of the Jamul Indian Village of California says that they will keep fighting to keep the casino open.

“We’ll never change everybody’s mind or convince everybody that this is the right thing for the tribe but all we can do is commit like we have—committed to safety,” Pinto said, adding that they will continue to win lawsuits filed against them.

The Hollywood Casino features a high-end restaurant with authentic memorabilia such as the Superman outfit worn by Christopher Reeve and the red dress worn by Marilyn Monroe on her final photo shoot. Of course, there are also 1,700 slot machines and 40 gaming tables.

Pinto says they just want to be good neighbors but opponents continue to argue that the casino doesn’t fit into the community.

“Like I said, it’s their right to pursue frivolous lawsuits,” Pinto said. “Unfortunately, its cost us a lot of money. We keep knocking them out of the park and I feel confident that we’ll continue to win these battles that get presented to us in the form of lawsuits, frivolous lawsuits.”

A ruling on the federal lawsuits against the casino is not expected for at least six months.

Meanwhile, the casino will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday at 11:30 a.m., when it opens to the public.

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