The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) chairman, Jonodev Chaudhuri, has approved a management contract for Wilton Rancheria that will give the nation access to tribal gaming. The approved agreement is between Wilton Rancheria of California and BGM Co, a subsidiary of Boyd Gaming. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) requires the NIGC chair approval of management contracts as a means of protecting tribes to ensure they are the primary beneficiaries of their gaming operations.
This agreement marks the culmination of a 13-year process for tribal restoration, getting land-into-trust, receiving environmental impact statement and gaming compact approvals. It will, said the NIGC, help the Wilton Rancheria Tribe enter tribal gaming in a highly competitive area.
“Approving this management contract does so much more than create a business partnership between Wilton Rancheria and Boyd Gaming,” said NIGC Chaudhuri. “This management contract supports the tribe’s efforts to better their community in many ways ranging from investing in schools to providing medical support for their people. This management contract encompasses the spirit of what IGRA was created to do – maintaining that tribes are the primary beneficiaries of their gaming operations.”
Wilton Rancheria chairman Raymond C Hitchcock responded: “We are humbled and grateful to receive this approval, as we reflect on the positive impacts the National Indian Gaming Act has had for Tribes across the country. We thank the Commission and Chairman Chaudhuri for their leadership and efforts as our tribe continues its path forward to achieve self-sufficiency for our people.”