Officials at the Little Pine First Nation are moving ahead with plans to develop a casino and convention centre in Lloydminster.

Chief Wayne Semaganis says the band purchased a large piece of land on the east side of the city.

He says that was the first step in a major development which will benefit members of his band and boost the economy of the city.

“We bought 168 acres of land and we have an option on 10 more acres, and our plan there is to build a 200-room hotel, 1500-seat convention facility, and 800-slot casino, along with a gas station, 300 apartments and a restaurant”.

Semaganis says a project of this magnitude needs support from both the RM and the city.

He says Lloydminster city council has approved the necessary zoning changes to allow for the development.

The chief says a municipal services agreement has been signed with the city and the process of having the land designated an urban reserve is underway.

He also says the band is looking at all options for the casino and it may not be part of the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority:

“When I asked for that resolution to be supported at the Gaming Commission, I asked that it not be a SIGA casino, that it not stipulate that it be a SIGA casino.  And the reason I did that was to see what offers are out there.”

The chief says discussions will be held with the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and the gaming minister in order for the casino to move ahead.

Support is also needed from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.

Semaganis says the construction phase of the project would provide training for band members, and down the road there would be many full-time jobs.