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Time To Celebrate

Jackson, CA — Celebrate … that’s the word in Jackson these days.

The Jackson Rancheria Casino will initiate its year long celebration of its 25th Anniversary in February.

According to CEO Rich Hoffman it was a rough beginning when the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians opened their first bingo Hall in 1985 under the guidance of Chairperson Margaret Dalton.

The Bingo Hall was a metal building with a leaky roof and no air conditioning located in a dirt parking lot. The Hall closed and opened several times but Ms. Dalton was persistent in her efforts to provide for her tribe.

The Tribe started to hit pay dirt when California voters passed Proposition 5 in 1998, the Tribal Government Gaming and Economic Self-Sufficiency Act. The following year the Tribe signed a compact with the State. The final piece to the puzzle was Proposition 1A, the California Indian Self-Reliance Amendment that was passed in 2000 affirming the right to gaming on tribal lands.

Over the past 25 years the metal building that housed the first Bingo Hall has grown into a casino complex that includes multiple restaurants, a hotel, RV Park, General Store & Gas Station, new homes for its residents, a medical and dental clinic, water and sewage treatment plants, an auto mechanic shop, child care center for employees’ children and an off-reservation apartment complex.

The Jackson Rancheria Casino and Hotel employs just under 1,600 employees. It remains the largest single employer in Jackson County.

Ms. Dalton’s brother, Irvin “Bo” Marks, now serves as Tribal Chairperson following her passing at the age of 69 in May of last year.

In honor of Ms. Dalton’s vision, determination and accomplishments, the Tribe has declared her birthday, February 9, as Founder’s Day to kick off the year long celebration.

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com