Increased Casino Revenue Leads to Raise for Frontline Workers
By Joe Morey
The Sevenwinds Casino Executive Team came before the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board on Sep. 17 to present their August distribution of $1,097,032.67 and make two requests regarding operations.
“Firstly, we were very proud to be able present the August Distribution to the Tribe of $1,097,032,.67 and to show the accomplishments of a hard working Sevenwinds Team,” they told the TGB. The July distribution was about $800,000. These amounts are up from the usual summer time monthly distribution of $600,000.
LCO Tribal Chairman Louis Taylor said he was extremely grateful for the hardworking staff at the casino. He noted the increased revenues would help the Tribe with some issues they currently face, such as a housing shortage and not enough programs and activities for our youth.
On average in recent years, the casino has added $3.5 million in revenue to the Tribe. The usual amount through the winter months is just over $200,000 monthly, but if the current trend continues, the annual amount is expected to increase.
Last month, Mike Black resigned as the Sevenwinds General Manager. At the present time there is no general manager but the executive team made up of Randy Cadotte, Bernard Taylor, Kim Martinson and Julie Richmond is acting together.
Referring to the meeting with Chairman Taylor, Secretary-Treasurer Michelle Beaudin and TGB members Tweed Shuman and Don Carley, the Executive Team said they received positive direction when given approval on two requests.
The first one was to purchase 107 slot machines, which the funds would be utilized from the September withholding. They stated the calculated savings and potential earnings from owning the machines rather than leasing will be reflected in the casino’s 2021 budget.
Secondly, the TGB approved giving all casino non-exempt frontline workers a 5% pay increase. The raise will be added on to the current base rate of pay and is estimated to have an annual cost of $239,000.
TGB Member Tweed Shuman said he is very impressed with our casino employees and feel very confident with our talented new casino executive team.
“The TGB gave the management team our priorities including better pay for the frontline workers, bringing furloughed employees back, and increased distribution to the Tribe. This team addressed and met all these requests! We will meet monthly with the new Casino Management team,” Shuman stated.
TGB Member Gary “Little Guy” Clause said he was very pleased with the distribution and said he plans to propose quick action by the TGB to move forward on several projects that will greatly improve the living conditions of our tribal membership.
“I want to thank all of our casino workers who have been there working through the pandemic. This increased revenue couldn’t have happened without them,” Little Guy stated.
The Executive Team presented some deliverables to the TGB for the very near future to include a potential plan for showcasing how large events such as VIP parties, Christmas Parties, etc., can be held safely in our conference center and a potential "Trunk or Treat" plan to be held outside on casino grounds.