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Prairie Knights Casino and Resort in Fort Yates prepares to reopen


The Standing Rock Tribal Council voted to begin the reopening of its casino near Fort Yates.

We learn about some of the changes being made due to the ongoing pandemic.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is taking the necessary precautions when it comes to opening back up the Prairie Knights Casino and Resort.

“There’s going to be a new business normal that we’re going to be faced with. Protective barriers, PPE for staff, keeping employees safe, keeping guests safe. It’s all going to be a new normal for us,” shared Everett Iron Eyes Jr., the general manager of the casino and resort.

To ensure people are practicing social distancing they have made necessary changes.

Every other slot machine will be available to play, all card and gaming tables will be closed and the pool in the resort area will also be closed.

“I think we can do it safely. What it’s going to require is a group effort. People are going to have to help do their part to keep themselves safe along with the measures we have in place. If all of that falls into place we should have good results,” shared Iron Eyes.

With almost 280 employees, the casino plays a huge role in the tribe’s economy with 30% of its programming funds coming from casino revenue.

While they have endured economics difficulties in the past nothing compares to this pandemic.

“For the eight, seven/eight weeks we are completely shut down. There is no revenue being generated. In fact, it was scarce in the beginning because we wanted to keep our employees on and continue with those benefits. But we didn’t know where those dollars would come from,” shared Brandon Mauai, a Standing Rocking Sioux Tribal Councilman.

The casino is set to reopen it’s doors Friday, May 15.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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