No, retail California sports betting was not legalized in the 2022 election.
But that didn’t stop the largest Indian casino in California from debuting a major addition for Southern California sports fans.
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino, in Highland, is celebrating the recent opening of its newest sports venue. The 909 Food Hall features 78 seats for bar-top gaming, which the casino says is more than any other sports hub in the world.
It isn’t a sportsbook. But it sure has the feel of one.
Although the new sports hub opened on Nov. 17, just nine days after California voters rejected two sports betting proposals in the Nov. 8 election, a Yaamava’ official gave California Casinos no indication that The 909 Food Hall was originally going to be a retail sportsbook.
Just a coincidence in timing.
That being said, the popular destination, a little more than an hour east of Los Angeles, now has yet another attraction in addition to its 7,000 slot machines and 150 table games. Yaamava’ bills the 909 Food Hall as a place for “food, beer, and fandom.”
Step Inside the 909 Food Hall and Sports Bar
The new dining and sports bar concept at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino is located on the casino’s second floor, taking over the space once occupied by The Pines and the Finish Line Bar. The 909 houses several bars to go along with four food venues.
The space is more than 17,100 square feet with multiple tables with seating for up to four people. There are also 78 seats dedicated to bar-top gaming, allowing customers to gamble by playing various electronic card games and other mini-games while watching basically any sport they can imagine.
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Yaamava’ partnered with LUCI System to develop a 20K LED archway, a 50-foot wide by 12-foot tall gameday screen, and more than 150 LED screens around the venue. There is at least one TV at each food outlet to make sure guests don’t miss any sports action. The casino says the goal was to provide fans with a 360-degree viewing experience unlike any other in California.
“Game-changing experiences like The 909 are only made possible by the vision of the Tribe and the dedication of our team members,” Peter Arceo, Yaamava’ Resort & Casino’s general manager told California Casinos. “The 909 will be the premier place to watch sports in California by providing a world-class 360-degree sports viewing experience combined with best-in-class food and service.”
Arceo said 909 is a fun addition that guests will enjoy while following through with the tribe’s commitment to bring responsible gambling to Californians.
“Keeping gaming fun and safe is our No. 1 priority. For years, we have been recognized for our efforts in responsible gaming,” Arceo said. “We are pursuing programming that meets our casino guests where they are, and where they are going so that they can be empowered to make responsible decisions.”
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena is excited about the new space that welcomes sports fans and foodies alike.
“We are proud to continue to expand our resort and casino to provide a fun and safe entertainment space for a variety of entertainment needs,” Valbuena said in a statement. “Our guests can attend a concert, visit the spa and now cheer on their favorite team in a state-of-the art venue right here in their hometown.”
The 909 features a full bar with 32 rotating beers on tap, allowing guests to enjoy selections from local Southern California breweries, such as Hanger24, Brewery X, Buzz Rock, and Pizza Port.
Bring on the Food
As mentioned, The 909 has four food venues. Two are fan favorites, and the other two are brand new concepts.
Just Barbeque (JBQ) is bringing back its mouthwatering guest favorites: smoked turkey breast and pulled pork, the infamous cheesy corn, homestyle cornbread, and seasonal cobbler.
Thai Chi 2 is a spinoff of the famous Thai Chi, located on the first floor in Tutu’s Food Court. The remixed eatery offers fan-favorite menu items and new dishes like Shrimp Black Bean Sauce and Vietnamese Noodle Salad.
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Pizza Mayhem and Get It Grill will feature unique twists on traditional dishes. At Pizza Mayhem, guests will have unique pizza selections, such as a breakfast pizza, the signature Stella pizza, and other seasonal options. At Get it Grill, fans will enjoy the Triple Play with a shareable foot-long-hot dog, hot wings and loaded fries.
How We Got Here
The 909 is the newest addition to the casino’s expansion, which began in 2018. Last year, the property hit a milestone by opening its 17-floor hotel tower. The 909 is open 24/7. You can get food service Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The casino’s expansion also paved the way for more bars and the elevation of its dining experiences with The Serrano Vista Café and the reinvigorated version of The Pines, which relocated to the first floor. In April, the casino opened its new entertainment venue, the Yaamava’ Theater.
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