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Flandreau Tribe Expanding Gaming at Royal River Casino

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The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe could see approval of its new Class III gaming compact in coming weeks, meaning the tribe would add another 100 machines to its Flandreau, South Dakota-based gaming house, reported the Argus Leader.

On Friday morning at a local courthouse hearing organized by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, the tribe and Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) discussed ratifying a new tribal gaming compact.

A revised compact would double the number of slot machines at the Royal River Casino, authorizing 500 machines that cost $20,000 a pop. The compact allows the tribe to continue offering table games and host off-track parimutual wagering on dog and horse races.

Gov. Daugaard will now send the renegotiated compact to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for review.

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Expanded gaming at Royal River will help the tribe compete with the 900 slot machines and 24 table games available at the Larchwood, Iowa-based Grand Falls Casino Resort, which opened its doors on June 9, 2011. While Royal River's revenue has increased, Steve Christianson, the casino's general manager, told the Argus Leader that the casino has still been affected by Grand Falls.

Located just six miles east of the gaming-congested Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Grand Falls reported $4.4 million of adjusted gross revenue to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission within its first month of operation. The 250,000-square foot Grand Falls Casino is estimated to bring in $70 million a year, reported the Associated Press.

Adding more slot machines will also help Royal River book more concerts and other entertainment at Royal River, Christianson told the Argus Leader.