Business leader: smoking ban didn't close Gold Dust - KOTA Territory News

Business leader: smoking ban didn't close Gold Dust

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After the closing of one KOTA Territory casino on the first of the year; a lot of people are asking what went wrong.

Thirty Eight out of the 52 previous Gold Dust employees attended a meeting with Social and Job Services Wednesday, to figure out what to do next. Lead and Deadwood Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Chuck Turbiville says most employees are confused as to why the casino closed.

There is more competition with new casinos in town, but Turbiville says the competition is good and brings more people into Deadwood for meetings and concerts.

It's been more than two years since the smoking ban was passed, and Turbiville says the ban is not the reason for the Gold Dust closing. "In the last eleven months, ten of those months the gaming revenue has been up for the year it's up 7% which is about $6 million," said Turbiville. "We cannot continue to blame all of the ills of Deadwood and Deadwood gaming on the smoking ban."

The Gold Dust was one of the first casinos to open when gaming started in Deadwood. The building takes up about half a block down town, and has more than 10,000 square feet. The casino also had a lunch and dinner buffet, bar, and gift shop that closed.

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