Published May 18, 2017
CASS LAKE, MINNESOTA – Leech Lake Band Members took to the polls yesterday to decide whether the tribe should move forward with a new casino construction project to replace the existing Palace Casino & Hotel in Cass Lake, Minnesota.
The referendum question passed with a resounding “Yes”. Approximately 78 percent of the votes cast were in favor of moving forward with the replacement project. Voters had the option of returning a paper ballot by mail or voting yesterday at one the election precincts located throughout the reservation, and in Duluth and Minneapolis. A total of 1,244 “Yes” votes were cast with 341 votes cast for “No.”
In March, the Leech Lake Tribal Council voted to turn over the decision making power on this proposal to the tribal citizenship. A similar measure was passed in 2000 which led to the successful construction of the Northern Lights Casino near Walker, Minnesota.
The new Palace Casino will be located along the Highway 2 Frontage Road in Cass Lake, Minnesota. An estimated $45 million to $50 million will be invested into construction of the new building. Work on the new structure is expected to begin in early 2018 and be completed in 2019. Once finished, the new casino is expected to provide an additional 100-200 jobs beyond current staffing levels.