A new casino could be on the way in Lloydminster now that the province has given conditional approval.
A release Monday said the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) was given conditional approval for the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) to put up a new casino.
Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), Don McMorris, said now the project must have a community consultation plan, and get approval from the city, province, and FSIN chiefs.
“I would think it would be a matter of months, not years,” said McMorris on the timeline for consultations.
Lloydminster is split in half by the Saskatchewan/Alberta border, and McMorris seems to think that’s a good spot.
“There is also that whole market on the Alberta side, for sure, that it would be able to tap into. That’s what makes it attractive and we’ll certainly see if the community itself is interested in that.”
According to a Canada West report from 2005, the most recent research available, Saskatchewan has one of the highest prevalence of Video Lottery Terminal problem gambling in the country. When asked whether it is responsible to approve another casino with that statistic in mind, McMorris said it’s up the city to decide whether that’s a problem.
McMorris did mention that the province puts millions of dollars every year into education campaigns on the dangers of gambling.
SIGA has six casinos currently operating in the province which employ 1,800 people.
Fifty per cent of the net income goes toward the First Nations Trust to support economic development, social development, justice, health, education, recreation, culture and other First Nations initiatives. Twenty-five per cent goes towards the government’s general revenue fund. The rest of the income is directed to community development corporations.