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Harrah’s NorCal casino now open in Ione, brings hundreds of jobs

Table dealers, slot attendant, security and surveillance, cooks, server and bartenders, these are some of the new jobs in Amador County.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Harrah’s Northern California Casino opened Monday afternoon at 4:29 p.m. 

The new 71,000 square-foot entertainment destination is set on the reservation land of the Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians.The opening date and time honors the Rancheria’s founding patriarch, Louie Oliver.

All of the 500 job vacancies have been filled, according to Assistant General Manager Lisa Yahrling.

“We’re ramping up training right now. We’ve on-boarded a lot of people, more than half of the people are ready to go,” Yahrling said.

The 71,000 square foot casino will have 950 slot machines, 20 game tables, three fast-food destinations, a sit-down restaurant, and a coffee bar.

“We have a patio outside where you can sit out and have a glass of wine and a nice meal and then come in and play a little slot and a little table and just have a good time,” said Yahrling.


Computer Engineer Marty Roeben was laid off three years ago and had been struggling to find a job locally. A month ago, he was hired to handle the slot machines software systems.

“I had just been trying to find anything in computers and not wanting to go to the Bay Area, live out here and commute,” Roeben told ABC10.

He feels the local economy will also reap the benefits.

“This place will bring visitors to our community and spend money in the communities around in the area. It’s also going to bring more attention. It will bring more traffic, but that’s going to happen anywhere, wear and tear on the roads, but we could always use the roads to be better anyway,” said Roeben.

According to Yahrling, the casino is establishing long-term partnerships with local hotels, vintners, and growers to, "highlight the bounty of locally sourced products available to guests at the property." She said the goal is to become a part of the community. 

Harrah's Northern California is also going to make donations to the local community, including:

  • $20 million pre-opening community contribution
  • $8 million per year, annual and ongoing community contribution
  • $1 million ongoing annual County Community Fund for a variety of community projects

The donations will be used to improve:

  • Amador County Unified School District $92,880
  • Traffic mitigation $1,429,200
  • Trust fund for noise inhibiting improvements (residential) $250,000

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WATCH ALSO: Elk Grove 'Ghost Mall' demolition paves way for new casino, resort

The demolition of Elk Grove's so-called "Ghost Mall" is making way for the Wilton Rancheria Elk Grove Resort and Casino Project at the north end of the mall site near Kammerer Road and Highway 99.

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