Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mr. Jones

Pala Casino Tries to Keep Up with the Joneses with $170 Million Expansion to Southern California Resort



Gambling Sunny in California

The Pala Casino announcement is just the latest in a laundry list of resort overhauls in Southern California.

Pechanga’s current renovation is costing the tribal group $285 million. Construction is also taking place at the Barona Casino & Resort, Sycuan Casino, and Viejas Casino & Resort, all properties which are located in the San Diego area. Those tribes, however, aren’t revealing how much money they’re spending.

The Pala Band of Mission Indians says it needed to update its property to adapt to customer demand. Speaking to the pool area, which will be transformed to resemble a space typically found at major resorts in Las Vegas and to include bars, fire pits, and cabanas, Pala CEO Bill Bembenek explained that visitors are looking for a more luxurious experience.
Slow Rollout

Pala Interactive, the tribe’s internet gaming division, has been operating in New Jersey through a partnership with Borgata since the fall of 2014. has been one of four live websites under the land-based resort, the others being,, and

The New Jersey rollout was delayed for several years, while waiting for the arrival of PokerStars. But since the company’s poker site launch last month, traffic has been slow-to-nonexistent: according to PokerScout, PalaPoker is averaging just two players a week on average.
While New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement doesn’t break down internet gaming revenues by site, Borgata’s partners have generated $23.48 million in year-to-date income. Only the Golden Nugget ($33 million) has made more from iGaming.
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