Economic Success Story
Many different economic development initiatives were tried before SMSC Chairman Norman Crooks suggested bringing Indian Gaming to Minnesota in 1982. With support from the General Council, the SMSC began the process of bringing high stakes bingo to the SMSC. Community members worked very hard in the early days to set up the Bingo Hall, working many long hours and late into the night to get everything ready for opening day. It was a successful opening, and suddenly there were jobs, with Community members working in all areas of the bingo operation as security guards, maintenance staff, and in other positions throughout the facility. Community members continue guiding the SMSC Gaming Enterprise today, serving on the Gaming Enterprise Board of Directors and the Gaming Commission and through the actions of the Business Council and General Council.
With the arrival of Indian Gaming, this new source of economic opportunity brought many changes to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Tribal Government services grew, and opportunities for the tribe and its members increased. Jobs were available for everyone.
During the 1990s, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community continued its transformation from an economically distressed reservation to one of the most economically successful Indian tribes in the United States. In this new era of self-sufficiency, the Community used its inherent sovereign rights and growing economy to purchase additional lands and to radically improve its economic base. In 1992 Mystic Lake Casino was unveiled, and the impact was incredible. The SMSC was able to provide a new level of service and infrastructure to Community members with increased health and dental services, childcare, educational opportunities, and more.