Lloydminster’s Saskatchewan-side casino has received the nod of approval from the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.
On Monday, the Chiefs in Assembly met in Regina to discuss a range of topics, among them being the final approval of the casino in the Border City, to be built on land owned by Little Pine First Nation in the eastern section of the community. After debate, the chiefs approved the expansion of the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority into the Lloydminster area, which in turn will allow the project to move forward.
FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron, who spoke to the press at the gathering, said the project will bring 500 jobs to the area, and described it as a milestone for the First Nations gaming industry.
On the local level, the move to allow a casino to be built was approved by council back in late June. At the time, Little Pine First Nation chief Wayne Semaganis described the approval process as a series of hurdles.
He also described the casino as a “hinge” for further projects, and said Little Pine will be hoping to add houses and apartment buildings to the lands in the east end in future, to act as housing for the casino employees. He also said there had been discussion with businesses such as Costco and Peterbilt to do with the southern part of the lot where the casino project will be located.
A concept plan of the casino outlines two 100-bed hotels, along with a convention centre and “multi-purpose” space included as part of the complex. Semaganis said the name of the project will be the Eagle West Park, encompassing 18 acres.
As for a timeline on the eventual construction of the project, Patricia Cook, the Vice President of Corporate Affairs for the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, has said an announcement is on it’s way in September.