Manitoba's third First Nations-owned casino, Sand Hills, has opened just south of Carberry.
The 31,000-square-foot casino, on the Swan Lake First Nation just off Highway 5, houses 350 slot machines, several table games and a restaurant and lounge. It officially opened on Monday.
“This is a significant day for First Nations,” said Assembly of Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.
“After many years of working towards a casino in Western Manitoba, we’re very proud to open a business that will benefit all First Nations in the province.”
The province's 63 First Nations will equally share profits from the casino, which officials say has an annual payroll of $5 million and, over 10 years, is anticipated to have a cumulative economic impact of at least $150 million in the Westman region.
"When we say $150 million, we're really talking about construction jobs, ongoing jobs, increased business opportunities and spending in the region as a result of the construction and the ongoing operation," said Barbara Czech, a casino spokesperson.
"When you factor in the whole region — so Carberry, Glenboro, Brandon and, you know, that section of western Manitoba — $150 million over 10 years is a significant impact. And by the way, we think that may be on the conservative side."
Czech said the casino has 175 full-time employees. Of those, 60 per cent are aboriginal.
Manitoba's other First Nations-owned casinos are South Beach, located on the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation reserve, and the Aseneskak Casino on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation north of The Pas, Man.