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Tribe Seeks Better Negotiations. 2005-10-20
Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe negotiations on a compact that would allow more slot machines and other gambling machines is making little progress these days. The tribe opened a 92-room hotel at the casino north of Watertown this past September. The $7.9 million project was only the first phase of development. They were hoping to make a $17 million expansion.
They hoped to increase the Dakota Sioux Casino's gambling areas along with slot machines at the Dakota Sioux and Dakota Connection in Sisseton, the tribes other casino. The current compact gives the tribe permission to operate 250 slot machines, but no more. The tribe is trying to push that issue to allowing 500, said J.C. Crawford, tribe chairman says.
The tribe has been negotiating with Gov. Mike Rounds for the past few months to amend this compact. In July, Rounds rejected the slots idea, but said he was not closing the book on casino expansion. All parts believe a larger casino would provide jobs and increase tourism.
The tribe has said a study it made showed that they may make up to 223,000 new out-of-state visitors to South Dakota each year, in the event of a change. The study also showed it would create more than 570 new jobs. The study canít prove anything, because so far thereís no expansion.
Right now negotiations are weak and slow going. There is no clarification on the states policy, which was asked for in early September. Travis Carrico, a spokesman for Dakota Nation Gaming said despite requests not even clarification was made.
(By Andrea)