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Daugaard Allows Flandreau Santee Sioux to Double Slot Machines

Mr. Mercer reports that Governor Dennis Daugaard has reached an agreement with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe to allow them to double the number of slot machines at the tribe's Royal River Casino from 250 to 500. That's still 400 shy of the slots available at the new Grand Falls Casino those darned Iowegians built across the border by Larchwood. But the agreement fits with the cautious response candidate Daugaard gave last year to the Larchwood casino, resisting calls to support building a new casino near Sioux Falls and suggesting that one big destination casino up the road in Moody County was plenty.

Update 10:13 CDT: Governor Daugaard himself says this agreement is a response to the changing gaming market around Sioux Falls.

Governor Daugaard's policy and communications director Tony Venhuizen tells Mercer that this agreement does not establish a statewide standard for all tribal casinos. "The governor believes that the state should deal with each tribe as an individual, sovereign nation," says Venhuizen.

Again, there's that funny Republican use of the word sovereignty. If we really viewed the Flandreau Santee Sioux as sovereign, we wouldn't expect our governor to have any say at all in how many slot machines they install at their casino, would we?


  1. shane gerlach 2011.06.29

    I hope the tribe now moves forward with planned second tower for the motel, convention center and indoor water park. As a Flandreau native I can fully say that the Casino has saved Flandreau. Because of the success of the casino the relations between tribe and city have never been better. (Money fixes everything) The tribe has been a MAJOR contributor to: New school, new library, new fire trucks, new police cars, 911 upgrade, ambulance staying local and a new swimming pool. These are just off the top of my head projects I know they have contributed to.
    Because of the casino there is an Alco, Subway and Dollar General that would not have looked at Flandreau if not for the increase in population and traffic.
    If the State is going to wade in the gambling pool it makes sense to have the tribes as allies.

  2. larry kurtz 2011.06.29

    It would behoove ensuring people in the Flandreau Santee Sioux are on the voting roles, Democrats.

  3. shane gerlach 2011.06.29

    Flandreau is a strong Democratic town. Wild Bill didn't ever win and we're his home town.

  4. Roger Elgersma 2011.06.29

    No matter that the Natives have their own ways from ages past, there ways grow a small town in South Dakota better than our ways does. Maybe we can watch and learn.

  5. shane gerlach 2011.06.29

    The joint tribal/city/county police force has been recognized in Washington and used as a blueprint for other Tribes growth and integration with surrounding non-reservation towns.
    I am amazed by the change in perception and relations in the 25 years since I graduated from Flandreau High.
    Even with the integration I have also noticed a strong returning to traditional Lakota ways in the Sweat Lodge use, pow wows, naming ceremonies and elder care. just seems to fix a LOT of problems.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.06.29

    Roger, I appreciate your ability to draw a connection between this post and the other two I put up this morning on economic development in Madison.

    Shane, Larry, I noticed that Senate Majority Leader Olson (R-8/Wentworth) made a point of retweeting the Argus article on increased slots for his Flandreau constituents.

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