- Associated Press - Friday, August 12, 2016

WAGNER, S.D. (AP) - A new gambling compact between the state of South Dakota and the Yankton Sioux would enable the tribe to double the number of slot machines at its Fort Randall Casino, add two new games and resume responsibility for employee background checks.

The Pickstown facility has 250 slots. There was no opposition to increasing the number to 500 during a public hearing Thursday in Wagner.

The increase is the major thing the tribe sought in the compact negotiations, Tribe Gaming Commission Chairman Arthur Standing Cloud said. In return, the tribe will agree to not use a sovereign immunity defense against any claims covered under the casino’s liability insurance.

The new compact also would enable the tribe to add craps and roulette games to the casino’s offerings, which include slots, blackjack and poker. It also would return to the tribe the power to handle employee background checks, which the state currently does.

“We felt that we’ve been in business 20 years, we can handle that ourselves,” Standing Cloud said.

The proposed compact now heads to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for approval. It would be the first update in 15 years.

“We have been working on the new compact since late 2012,” Standing Cloud said. “It was just a lot of going back and forth and trying to get the changes through our tribal council.”

All nine American Indian tribes in South Dakota have gambling compacts with the state. The Yankton Sioux tribe’s compact will be subject to review every four years.

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