The Ojibwe have spent nearly $1 million to build a temporary 180-slot machine addition to its casino to test the market for a possible new casino. The addition, which opened Dec. 26, brings the total of slot machines to more than 500 at Seven Clans Casino-Warroad, formerly the Lake of the Woods Casino. If 500 machines aren't enough, as band officials suspect, they will use profit from the temporary expansion to pay for a new casino, said Red Lake Chairman Bobby Whitefeather. "We needed to find out how many machines will work. This was the most cost-effective way in the short term. The expansion is part of ... our efforts to bring our gaming enterprises to a more competitive stature. We want to capture the moment of Indian gaming.'' The band has eyes on a more ambitious plan involving its other Warroad properties. The casino is separated from Lakeview Restaurant, built two years ago on the south shore of Lake of the Woods, by only a short strip of shore which the band owns. In addition, the band recently bought a 41-room Super 8 Motel across town. Tribal officials said the plan is to market the Warroad properties as a package - food, lodging and gambling.
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