Casinos not for sale, minister says
The provincial government says its casinos in Moose Jaw and Regina are not for sale, but admits there have been offers.
The topic of a possible sale of Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw was raised Monday in the legislature.
NDP MLA Deb Higgins asked whether the government was negotiating for the sale of the two casinos, which she said have generated $356 million in profits.
She said she'd heard a consultant has been meeting with First Nations leaders, telling them the government wants to sell the casinos to the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, which runs casinos of its own.
Higgins said people are being told the government could use the proceeds from such a sale to finance Regina's proposed domed stadium, which the government says could cost $350 million.
However, Bill Hutchinson, the minister for First Nations and Métis affairs, attempted to pour cold water on Higgins's suggestions.
It's true that a number of parties have expressed interest over the years, he said, but no decisions have been made.
"The casinos are not for sale," he said.
The Opposition persuaded the government to release two letters, one of which was written to Chief Rick Gamble of the Beardy's & Okemasis First Nation. The letter thanks the chief for his business proposal and expression of interest in purchasing the casinos in Moose Jaw and Regina, but it tells him they are not for sale.
Speaking to reporters later, Hutchinson could not say why the casinos are not for sale, only that they are not.