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Penn National Gaming, which operates 35 gambling centers across the country, and Jamul Indian Village announced the completion of a $36 million site excavation, the first phase in constructing a long-contested casino in East County.

Despite a series of lawsuits that sought to block the construction, ground broke on the project in early 2014.

The lawsuits, including one from Jamul tribal members, contend that bodies and cremated remains were improperly removed from graves during construction, that the construction is damaging a nearby wildlife preserve, and even that the site should not be federally recognized as tribal land eligible for placement of a gaming facility.

Construction crews spent the last ten months moving over 452,000 tons of earth to make way for the 200,000-square-foot three-story casino and subterranean parking garage.

According to a company release, "the exterior will feature earth tones and downcast lighting to integrate with the surrounding area, while the interior will blend tasteful but glamorous elements from Hollywood’s Golden Era," and the project will also include "state-of-the-art water reclamation treatment and reuse technology to conserve resources and improve groundwater quality."

Despite the exterior architecture, designed to appease locals fearful of a bright, gaudy structure, many continue to express concerns about noise and, particularly, traffic associated with the facility. State Route 94, the area's main thoroughfare, is already believed by locals to be overburdened with existing traffic.

Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego, the name currently attached to the project, is slated to open sometime in 2016. Total construction costs are estimated to be $360 million.

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Bob_Hudson Dec. 19, 2014 @ 3:07 p.m.

It has been a really big bummer for we white guys (remember the Spanish were Caucasians too) because we had no idea when we took California from the Indians and gave them crap land in the foothills and mountains, that they'd actually find a way to make a decent living from what it.

It was assumed that these remote rock and brush-covered wastelands known as "Indian reservations" were good for nothing but rattlesnake farms. Not to be an Indian giver (no offense intended, naturally) but maybe we should take the reservation land too and put an end to this casino nonsense.

As we've seen, once one Indian reservation found they could make a living from casinos, other reservations were also inspired to mess up the lives of the peaceful white guys of Jamul and other back country communities.

We can't have the Indians going around acting like they used to own the place, now can we?


AlexClarke Dec. 19, 2014 @ 4:06 p.m.

Another casino in San Diego is proof that there is no limit to human stupidity.


Visduh Dec. 20, 2014 @ 7:51 a.m.

State Highway 94 IS overburdened with traffic. There is no plan to alleviate that excess traffic in the foreseeable future.


JamulianDan Dec. 20, 2014 @ 3:23 p.m.

The unfortunate reality is with the creation of this casino will follow local community theft and vandalism, along with escalated fatalities on highway 94....

It's just a shame that they need to carve out this little piece of land and create something that we just don't need in this town so much for the beauty and the solitude of a beautiful little town called Jamul


CaptainObvious Dec. 21, 2014 @ 9:47 a.m.

It's time to end this racism and allow anyone, not only corporations in "partnership" with tribes, to open a casino. Or, shut the whole thing down, lottery included. Lets put gambling back where it belongs, Nevada..


murphy1962 Dec. 22, 2014 @ 12:02 p.m.

Check out jacjamul.com there is massive Jamul opposition and associated lawsuits against this , it will NOT happen no casino ! Find a more worthy endeavor east coast Penn idiots !!


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