WinnaVegas Casino Resort celebrates 30 years

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – A gas station used to be the WinnaVegas casino. Except, back then, it was just a high-stakes bingo hall inside a double-wide trailer.

A lot has changed in 30 years.

“And so at the time, in 1992, when we started, they were starting renovations on this property here. And so we could see that come to fruition at that time,” said Winnebago Tribal Council vice president Brian Chamberlin.

WinnaVegas Casino celebrated 30 years in business on Friday afternoon…with traditional tribal songs.

The casino is owned by the Winnebago tribe. The tribe was looking for a casino economic boom and their investment paid off.

“And that payroll actually goes right back into the community through products, goods and services. Plus, we’ve actually spent $270 million over the past 30 years on local products and services. So it helps other businesses to thrive in the region,” said Michael Michaud, Acting General Manager.

So what’s next for the casino? Officials say they hope for another expansion. The casino has a massive economic impact on the region.

The tribe uses its profits to help the members of the tribe. And Sloan, the nearest town, has a population of just over 1,000.

The casino paid out $300 million in salaries over 30 years —- and that packs a punch

“Where would you like to see WinnaVegas in 30 years? And I said, ‘physically expanded to get the full resort experience that it can be,’” Chamberlin said.

Profits from the casino are reinvested in the tribe and improve economic conditions in Winnebago. When the casino turned into a hotel, it brought the total number of casino employees to 400.

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