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Local News

Gun Lake Tribe assumes management of casino

The Gun Lake Tribe’s contract with Station Casinos LLC to manage the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland Township expired Feb. 6, pursuant to federal Indian gaming law which limits the term of management contracts to seven years, according to a news release from the tribe.

 

“This is a significant milestone because we are taking another step toward complete self-sufficiency as a tribal government,” said Scott Sprague, tribal chairman.  “We appreciate the relationship with Station Casinos as it enabled us to open a professional gaming operation from day one.  We also gained valuable knowledge and experience that we will use to continue our success.”       

 

The tribe diligently prepared to assume casino management responsibility for many years.  A comprehensive transition plan had been developed dating back to the 2011 opening of the casino.  A more detailed plan has been implemented over the last few years which focused on operational personnel and technology, the release said.

 

“It has been a pleasure working with the Gun Lake Tribe on the management of the Gun Lake Casino for the last seven years, and we wish them the best of success going forward,” said Richard J. Haskins, president of Station Casinos LLC.//

 

A key step in the transition occurred when the tribe hired Sal Semola as president and CEO of the casino in October, 2017, to finalize the transition of the tribe to operational control by providing a seamless transition in all areas of management of the casino, and working on the master plan, the release continued.

 

Sid Smith, Bart LaBelle and Jim Fabiano from Mt. Pleasant were early investors in the casino and their support played a key role in its development.    

 

The casino has over 1,000 valued team members and the tribe has shared more than $100 million with state and local governments over 14 separate distributions since the facility opened, the release concluded.

 

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