Unfortunately, three years after its opening, Red Hawk Casino is performing far below expectations and is having trouble paying off its debts.

Despite having thousands of slot machines and over 70 table games, such as blackjack, the $535 million casino continues to lose Sacramento-area gamblers to its successful rival, Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln, California.

Recent testimony in an El Dorado Superior Court lawsuit showed just how much Red Hawk is struggling financially, with testimony claiming that Red Hawk took in $214 million in gambling revenue last year, 10 percent below 2009 (its first full year of operation).

According to court records, this is also $100 million less than what was expected in a forecast made by the tribe in 2007.

“I think it’s strictly the economy,” said Nick Fonseca, chairman of the Shingle Springs tribe. “This is a new reality, and tribes are going to have to adjust to it.”

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