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OCTOBER 22, 2013
In a campaign that was tainted by racism and divided the city, Saskatoon voted 10 years ago today against allowing a First Nationsrun casino downtown.
The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Association (SIGA) instead built the Dakota Dunes Casino about 30 kilometres south of the city. A decade later, some say the city has inherited the social ills of a casino without the economic benefits – although numbers are hard to come by.
Two groups with conflicting ideologies came together to oppose the casino and force a referendum as part of the watershed 2003 municipal election that drew a record turnout of 52.3 per cent. Despite casino supporters that included members of a divided city council, the chamber of commerce and Tourism Saskatoon, the anti-casino forces prevailed.