North Battleford’s mayor isn’t concerned about a new casino just up the highway in Lloydminster, saying it might bring more visitors to the overall region.
On Tuesday the Saskatchewan government announced conditional approval for a casino in the city which straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. If approved by the city, it would be operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA).
North Battleford Mayor Ian Hamilton said he has faith that SIGA has done the legwork to ensure a proper business model is in place.
“Overall I think they’ll manage their affairs in such a way that everyone benefits from it into the future,” he said.
Hamilton said if there is a concern in his mind, it’s the potential job loss dividing business between two cities.
“Whether or not the demand decreases because (of) lower tourism dollars coming here, that operations might be contracted a little bit here – I don’t think that’s going to happen but that would be my concern.”
SIGA CEO Zane Hansen said any impact on North Battleford’s Gold Eagle Casino was expected to be “minimal.”
Don McMorris, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), told reporters in Regina the Lloydminster casino would be a small one, with approximately 250 machines and four or five gaming tables. According to its website, the Gold Eagle has 335 slot machines and eight tables.
Hansen hoped to have approval from Lloydminster this summer.