Minnesota’s White Earth Nation Opens New Shooting Star Casino

Minnesota-based White Earth Ojibwe Tribe opened on Wednesday its second Shooting Star Casino. The new venue is located in Bagley and features 170 slot machines as well as a restaurant with bar and grill attached to it.

The White Earth Nation soft-launched its first Shooting Star Casino property back in 1991. The Mahnomen-based venue was originally located in a temporary facility until it was officially opened in 1992. A $30-million, 150,000-square-foot expansion was completed in 2012. At present, the property features a casino floor, spacious concert and meeting facilities, a 386-room hotel, and food and beverage options.

Although much smaller, the 21,400-square-foot Shooting Star Bagley casino is expected to attract wide interest among gambling customers from the region and the rest of the state.

Bill Marsh, General Manager of Shooting Star Casinos, told local media that according to results from a 2015 feasibility study, the area “had a great demographic” and potential for market penetration. Mr. Marsh further added that the new gambling venue will certainly have a substantial positive effect on Bagley and the surrounding communities, bringing new employment opportunities and much-needed revenue. The new Shooting Star Casino currently employs 71 people.

First talks about the construction of a casino in the area emerged back in 2014. After the feasibility study was completed, indicating the positive impact, ground on the property was broken in November 2015.

The building was designed by Minneapolis-based Cuningham Group. Although it does not feature a hotel or a meeting space, Mr. Marsh said that the venue may be expanded at some point in future, if there is a demand for the addition of more facilities.

Shooting Star Casino Bagley was one of two casino projects confirmed by the White Earth Nation last fall. The tribe also revealed plans for the construction of its third Minnesota casino. The third property will be located in Dent and will be designed by the same firm that was in charge of the Bagley project.

The Dent casino will feature slot machines and table games, a number of dining options, a hotel, a gift shop, as well as an RV park.

Of their expansion plans, Mr. Marsh said that they are lucky to be able to open more casino properties at a time when there are not many opportunities for tribes to expand within the gambling industry.

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