The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations is expected to open up the ninth casino in this Canadian province after getting approval from the Liquor and Gaming Authority earlier this year.
The casino, which will be built in Lloydminster, situated near the border with the province of Alberta, is expected to cost the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority an approximate $20 million. The sticker price for this venue will provide about five gaming tables and about 50 machines for gaming. Aside from the actual casino the development will also have a hotel with 250 rooms for guests, and this will be placed right next to a convention center that plans to seat an approximate 1,500 attendants.
Though the ambitious plan does seem like it will introduce many jobs and revenue to the city of Lloydminster, actual construction on the development will not move forward until the community consults on the development process and a plan is agreed upon.
In an interview with CBC, Minister Don McMorris of the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Saskatchewan stated that any plan that the community decides upon will be overseen by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, and they will determine the consultation that’s needed before any form of construction can begin. It is once this portion of the development process is complete that the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority will step in and begin construction of the casino. He was firm in his statement that the Liquor and Gaming Authority has no intention of overstepping the authority of the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority to decide how development should move forward on their land, such decisions should be handled first by the local community before they step in.
And the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority has a lot to discuss before coming to a decision. They currently employ 1,800 staff members, and about 1170 of them are First Nations people. All of those employees are spread about six different casinos in Saskatchewan, and the impact of this new installation is one that will probably be taken into consideration when deciding how to go forward.
The Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Bobby Cameron, has stated his interest in the project. With a population of about 27,800 people, Lloydminster could be a perfect home for a new casino, making use of the many people who regularly pass through the city, complimenting some of the other economic projects in motion including the residual effects still felt after the recent Saskatchewan First Nations Winter Games.
In an interview with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Cameron stated that nearly every market of the local economy experienced a significant boost in revenue and overall business during the week of the Winter Games. He intimated that the inclusion of a casino would benefit from similar events in the future, but also by being an attraction in itself, any casinos in the area will benefit smaller businesses with increased business.
When it is finally in operation, McMorris stated that half of the revenue it receives will go directly to Canada’s First Nations Trust, and one-fourth to the general fund of the government and community initiatives.