Son Of Star Casino North Dakota Breaks Ground
North Dakota’s Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation has officially begun construction on the Son Of Star Casino in White Shield.
The start of development of the 37,000-square-foot casino, to be built in collaboration with Four Bears Casino and DSGW Architecture, was marked by a ground blessing ceremony this week. It is set to be a significant addition to the list of North Dakota casino venues.
White Shield is on the southern end of the Nation’s reservation land, right in the center of North Dakota and about an hour’s drive from the cities of Bismarck and Minot.
Project Promises a Beautiful and Welcoming Space
The Son Of Star Casino will be located south of the powwow grounds in White Shield.
Slated for completion in 2026, the casino is set to include 230 slot machines, six table games, and a poker room. It will also include a new addition to the list of North Dakota retail sportsbooks.
Additionally, the casino will be aiming to be somewhat of a resort destination. It will house a restaurant, gift shop, campground, and coffee shop. Future expansion plans also hint at the introduction of a convenience store, hotel, and an event center.
The design of the casino will incorporate traditional Native American elements throughout.
The exterior will reflect indigenous architectural themes, while the interior will feature Native American art, historical time lines, and artifacts. The layout is divided into four quadrants, each symbolizing a natural element: fire, water, earth, and wind.
DSGW Architecture, a firm with a history of designing more than 400 tribal casino projects across 14 states, created the blueprint for the casino.
“We are honored to have worked with the MHA Nation to create this new casino,” said Erik C. Wedge of DSGW Architects, speaking to the local media outlet the Minot Daily News.
“The casino is a beautiful and welcoming space that will provide both entertainment and economic opportunities for the MHA Nation and the surrounding community.”
Promoting the MHA Nation
Beyond entertainment, the Son Of Star Casino is poised to be a major economic driver for the MHA Nation and its 17,000 members.
The project is expected to create numerous jobs and generate significant revenue for the community.
Although it is the fourth-least densely popular state, with less than 1 million residents overall, the Son of Star Casino has a convenient central location that is also only an hour drive from the state capital and largest city, Bismarck.
The nearby city of Minot is also home to a U.S. Air Force base, with a seasonal deployment of around 5,000 to 10,000 people.
“Having a casino in White Shield offers the framework to generate and foster economic growth, achieve sustainable employment, and promote tribal tourism. It’s a win-win for the tribe and the surrounding area,” said East Segment Councilman Fred Fox.
The MHA Nation also operates the Four Bears Casino in the Northern part of the Nations’ reservation in North Dakota. It announced its own $90 million building project in 2022, with the expansion set to be completed by 2025.
In terms of North Dakota online casino gaming, the state’s tribal casino operators are unlikely to see regulated competition in the online space anytime soon.