Top right: Members of the Indigo Circus at Gold Horse Casino on December 20.
Top left: Gaming Floor at Gold Horse Casino in Lloydminster. Photos Angela Mouly
Bottom: From left, Justina Sather Senior Operations Manager Gold Horse Casino, Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers, Colleen Young MLA Lloydminster, Chief Wayne Semaganis Little Pine First Nation, Chief Bobby Cameron Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Zane Hansen CEO and President Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, Rick Gamble Border Tribal Council representative, and Roger Anderson General Manager Gold Horse Casino. Photo credit: Jason Whiting SIGA
Indigenous and government dignitaries gathered in Lloydminster to celebrate the soft opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Gold Horse Casino on December 20.
A grand entry included chiefs, flag carriers, and dancers that were followed by a flag song and a victory song played by the Seekaskootch Drum Group from Onion Lake Cree Nation.
The ceremony began with an opening prayer, and Chief Reginald Bellerose, SIGA’s Board Chair, thanked key partners for their collaboration.
Chief, Bobby Cameron, from the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) said, “I want to thank our Creator and each and every one of you for being here today. $1 billion from SIGA has gone into the economy, and this is the seventh SIGA casino. We are here to celebrate and support, but more importantly to be a part of this historic day as a partnership.”
The land for the development is owned by Little Pine First Nation, who was responsible for the site development. The facility landlord is the Border Tribal Council, who leases the casino property to SIGA, who is the organization responsible for the casino’s operation. The City of Lloydminster also worked closely with all of these groups during the casino’s development, and will continue to do so in the future.
Government of Saskatchewan MLA, Colleen Young, acknowledged Treaty 6 Territory and said, “The Gold Horse Casino is a great addition that has created approximately 200 jobs in our community with additional jobs throughout the construction phase. It will bring people from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and beyond. Congratulations on taking this vision and turning it into a reality!”
The facility is over 49,000 square feet and features more than 250 of the latest slot machines, 18 electronic table games, and five live table games. Gold Horse Casino also houses an event center for live entertainment, banquets or meetings as well as a bar and grill, and a deli.
City of Lloydminster Mayor, Gerald Aalbers noted that the community had been buzzing nearing the completion of this facility, and he felt that the casino certainly adds value to the city.
SIGA President and CEO, Zane Hansen said, “The feeling of strength and support behind our company makes us feel really good. SIGA is the largest First Nations employer across Canada, and a top 50 organization employer. The facility that we unveil today is absolutely state of the art; I think we have a property the community can be proud of for years to come.
SIGA is a non-profit organization with 100 per cent of earnings going back to beneficiaries. We like to get involved in the community and have community investment programs and sponsorship.”
So far, SIGA has already invested more than $200,000 in sponsorships in Lloydminster and area.
Chief, Wayne Semaganis, from Little Pine First Nation gave thanks to the Creator and Mother Earth and said, “From the beginning I have used prayer to guide me. I did not build this casino for leadership or wealth, and I thank you for coming and encourage you to pray for those less fortunate. This is a good example of how working together can make something beautiful happen.”
The Seekaskootch Drum Group concluded the ceremony by playing an honour song, and guests were offered guided tours and enjoyed a meal and entertainment throughout the evening by Roland Corrigal, and Nice Horse.
The Gold Horse Casino had its first full day of operations on December 21. The casino will be open, Sunday - Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. (MST), and Thursday - Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Gold Horse Casino is located at 3910 - 41 Street in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. For more information or to view upcoming live entertainment, you can visit http://goldhorsecasino.ca/.
Left: Colleen Young, Government of Saskatchewan, Lloydminster MLA at the Gold Horse Casino.
Middle: Little Pine First Nation Chief, Wayne Semaganis at the Gold Horse Casino soft opening in Lloydminster on December 20.
Right: Zane Hansen CEO and President Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.
Photos Angela Mouly