Schwarzenegger OKs 5,000 slots at Red Hawk

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill allowing Red Hawk Casino, which is under construction in Shingle Springs, to operate up to 5,000 slot machines.

The casino, owned by the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok, is being built and will be operated by Lakes Entertainment Inc., which operates Native American casinos in other parts of the country.

The new gaming compact runs 21 years and is set up where Shingle Springs shares revenue on a sliding scale based on a percentage of net winnings from the machines. That is a different compact structure from the existing local casino compacts with the United Auburn Indian Community’s Thunder Valley Casino and Rumsey Band of Wintun’s Cache Creek Casino Resort. Those compacts are set up with the tribes paying the state a fixed amount per machine on the gambling floor of their casinos.

Red Hawk Casino should open by the end of this year with room for 2,000 slot machines. Lakes is currently hiring about 2,000 employees to operate the casino, its 10 food and beverage outlets, 75 table games and child care center.