Winnebagos will open new bingo casino in Emerson
As reported by The Sioux City Journal
Tribe of Nebraska had planned to open a new bingo-based casino in
Emerson, Neb., today, but it is taking longer than expected to get
the machines, computers and staff up and running, tribal chairman
John Blackhawk said Thursday.
The tribe is
opening the casino to position itself to quickly enter the Nebraska
market with so-called Class III games such as slots, poker, roulette
and other table games, if Nebraska voters approve a ballot initiative
for that in November, Blackhawk said.
WinnaVegas Casino is in Iowa.
opening was too soon for everyone. The Nebraska Department of Revenue
must first verify that the casino meets state requirements, but
the tribe only notified the state on Wednesday that it planned to
open the casino.
spokeswoman for Gov. Mike Johanns, said the state's only criteria
are that the casino be on the reservation and within the scope of
allowed gaming. The revenue department was working on verification
Thursday, she said.
the establishment will offer 39 bingo-based gaming machines, classified
by the National Indian Gaming Commission as Class II, a level not
requiring a state gaming compact. A compact will be required if
voters approve Level III casino gaming.
council wants to be ready to have something we're able to come on
line with," Blackhawk said. "We have all the framework
we've negotiated in Iowa, so we're well ahead. It will be a quick
the machines, which are electronically linked to bingo machines
on Indian reservations across the country, about half fill the 2,000-square-foot
A former steakhouse,
the casino will offer a bar and grill, but not a full-service restaurant.
Everyone must be 21 or older to enter, said Danelle Smith, the Winnebago
Tribe's attorney. Blackhawk said the casino will employ at least
12 people, and Smith said it could eventually provide 24 jobs. She
could not say what the payroll might be.
pretty small operation over in Emerson," she said. "We'll
see what kind of business we draw there and plan accordinginly."