The sod has been turned to begin construction of the new Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority casino in Lloydminster.
The ceremony took place on Monday morning, organized by SIGA and the Border Tribal Council.
On hand for the groundbreaking were area Chiefs including Wallace Fox from Onion Lake and Wayne Semaganis from Little Pine First Nation. Also there were First Nation Elders, representatives from FSIN, Border Tribal Council, Onion Lake, Little Pine, SIGA, and other levels of government.
“On behalf of SIGA, we’re excited to officially be in the ground and to continue working with the Border Tribal Council to make this development a reality,” said SIGA board chair Chief Reginald Bellerose in a statement.
“This casino will not only benefit the community of Lloydminster but all First Nations of Saskatchewan, and is only possible through the positive partnerships between the FSIN, Border Tribal Council, Little Pine First Nation and the City of Lloydminster.”
The new casino is being built on land in Lloydminster owned by Little Pine First Nation, who are responsible for site development. The Border Tribal Council will be the facility landlord and will lease the property to SIGA, who will operate the casino.
Both SIGA and the Border Tribal Council will be responsible for facility development.
Profit distribution will be the same as at the other SIGA casinos with 50% shared with the First Nations Trust and distributed to Saskatchewan First Nation communities; 25% shared with a regional Community Development Corporation; and 25% shared with the provincial government's General Revenue Fund.
“The new casino will have significant benefits for Lloydminster,” said SIGA president Zane Hansen. “It will create local employment, provide funding for city services, non-profit and charitable organizations, and it will support local businesses through service agreements and by attracting tourism dollars to the community.” says Zane Hansen, President and CEO, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.
This will bring to seven the number of SIGA casinos located in Saskatchewan. Currently, SIGA operates the Gold Eagle Casino in North Battleford as well as others in Prince Albert, Swift Current, Yorkton, Whitecap Dakota First Nation near Saskatoon, and on White Bear First Nation near Carlyle.