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SAN DIEGO-A $125 million casino and resort near Valley Center operated by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and owned by a local Indian tribe has announced an opening date of Aug. 8.

The 65-acre project near Valley Center first broke ground in July 2001 and the tribe will move in August from its temporary casino facility to the permanent 200-room luxury resort, which will include a 45,000-sf casino with six restaurants. The facility will be Harrah’s first branded casino inCalifornia, according to Tom Dingman, general manager of Harrah’s Rincon Casino and Resort.

“From the day we broke ground last summer on the Rincon reservation, our aimwas to raise the bar for the area’s gaming industry,” Dingman says, adding that Harrah’s brings the ‘authentic Las Vegas gaming experience’ to Southern California. Plans call for 1,500 slot machines and 30 table games.

The Rincon San Luiseno Band of Mission Indians will own the resort and Harrah’s Entertainment will manage it. Tribal and Harrah¹s officials estimate the resort is expected to create 1,100 jobs and generate $31 million in annual payroll.

Local business and government leaders will get tours of the new facility on Aug. 6, kicking off three days of events leading up to the Aug. 8 public grand opening.

Rincon hopes to rise above a history of failed casino ventures as a result of its partnership with one of the nation’s top gaming and resort companies. It opened a temporary casino in January 2001 in the North County area.

Several people, both inside and outside the tribe, were convicted of felonies following a previous foray into gaming in the mid-1990s.

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