The new Hollywood Casino in Jamul. Courtesy Jamul Indian Village
The new Hollywood Casino in Jamul. Courtesy Jamul Indian Village

The Jamul Indian Village‘s first casino will open in east San Diego County on Monday after a 20-year struggle amid community opposition.

The Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego, located off Route 94, features 1,700 slot machines, 43 live table games and multiple dining and entertainment options, including the Tony Gwynn’s Sports Pub. It has 8-story, below-ground parking for over 1,800 vehicles.

“Our dream is finally becoming a reality,” said Erica Pinto, chairwoman of Jamul Indian Village. “I am so grateful for everyone who has helped make this possible for our people, including current and previous tribal councils of Jamul Indian Village, our developers Penn National Gaming and the many professionals we’ve had the pleasure of working with along the way.”

The $400 million casino will be the ninth operated by an Indian tribe in San Diego County and provide more than 1,000 jobs, many for members of the tribe.

The project faced intense opposition in the Jamul and Dulzura communities, and county Supervisor Diane Jacob was a vocal opponent. However, the casino will provide more than $90 million in funding for fire and public safety and $23 million for road and transportation improvements near facility.

“It has been over two decades of grit and determination to get to this day,” said Tribal Vice Chairman Kenneth Meza. “We extend our gratitude to the tribal leaders in San Diego County who have supported us in our dream.”

“We will now be able to provide for our members. The future is bright for Jamul Indian Village,” Meza added.

The Jamul Indian Village is one of 13 bands of the Kumeyaay Nation of Southern California. Penn National Gaming operates 26 facilities in sixteen jurisdictions across the United States and Canada.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.