GGB is committed to providing updated news and analysis on our weekly news site, GGBNews.com.

Smoke Shop

Everybody must get stoned...

Smoke Shop

It says here that the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, which has operated a casino in South Dakota for 25 years, is opening the nation’s first “marijuana resort” about a block from its Flandreau casino.

It will be a state-of-the-art pot-growing operation that will set up shop in a former bowling alley on the reservation. According to the Forum News Service, plans are for a “club atmosphere,” which, of course, makes a former bowling alley perfect.

I’m kidding. Actually, it’s going to be very nice. “We want to have good drinks, live music and maybe some slot machines in the lounge,” tribal lawyer Seth Pearlman told the In Forum news site.

Oh, and around 80 pounds of weed for the customers every week, they estimate. Each guest gets to buy a gram of marijuana, enough for two to four joints. (Or one, for any number of guys I used to know.)

The grams will be in neat little sealed plastic packets. Guests will order off a menu—a stoner wine list, if you will—including an astounding 65 strains of the ganj.

Tribal President Anthony Reider, in fact, made the wine reference to a reporter. “You can compare the different strains to types of wine,” he said. “They can have a different taste and different feeling when consuming.”

Of course, after the consuming, the result will be the same for all customers. As Bob Dylan once sang, “Everybody must get stoned.”

And they’re going to have slot machines! I’d recommend Texas Tea Pinball, the newest game from IGT to embrace the recent “skill game” craze in the slot business.

This particular skill game is a natural for the new pot lounge, and not because millennials will like it. On the contrary, at the new Sioux doobie palace, these games are sure to be mobbed by old dudes with bald heads and ponytails, in tie-dye shirts. Because there’s no better pinball player than an aging stoner, no matter what condition he’s in.

Well, that’s what I’ve heard, anyway.

More likely, the games in the new marijuana resort probably will be regular Class II slot games. I’m guessing they won’t have table games, because it would take forever to get a hand, roll or spin done:

“Hey, buddy, what’s nine plus six?”

“Ummm……………..  What?”

“Sir, please put down your hoagie and place a bet.”

This is all possible because of a U.S. Department of Justice memorandum last year stating that the federal government will not interfere with recognized Native American tribes operating marijuana businesses similar to those in states like Colorado, Washington and Oregon, where recreational pot is legal.

Considering that Colorado made more money last year from pot taxes than it did from alcohol taxes, the Flandreau Santee immediately saw dollar signs.

And they’re doing it right. Tribal officials have thought of everything in setting this thing up. There are a lot of cool safety measures put in place, like shuttles to and from local hotels.

And, of course, the program will offer a huge boost to local donut and pastry businesses.

There are still some legal challenges to the plan, as marijuana is illegal in the state of South Dakota, and it is unclear what a new Congress and presidential administration will do with respect to the herb. But for now, all systems are go. The plants are being produced through a sophisticated cultivation operation, thanks to a partnership between the tribe and Colorado marijuana company Monarch America.

Yes, that’s right. It’s a joint venture.

In other news this month, Julio Iglesias says he’ll never play a Trump casino again, because of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments on illegal immigration. The Spanish singer, speaking to Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia, said, “I’ve sang many times in his casinos, but I won’t be doing it again. He seems like an

asshole to me…. He’s a clown—and my apologies to clowns.”

Donald Trump, when told of the comments, responded in typical Donald Trump fashion: “Good. I don’t like his voice or his performances anymore, anyhow.”

Of course, Donald Trump no longer owns casinos, except for a 5 percent stake in Trump Entertainment and letting his name be used on the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, on the façade of a building that very well could be the next victim of that market’s “right-sizing.”

Hey, maybe the Flandreau Santee Sioux’s venture could be a model for saving the Taj. They could turn it into the “Trump Marijuana Resort.”

Just don’t expect Julio Iglesias to sing there.

All together now: EVERYbody must get stoned…

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.