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Miccosukee Tribe to open new casino

The Miccosukee Tribe hosted a groundbreaking for a new casino at the Miccosukee Service Plaza on Aug. 16. From left to right are Business Council Secretary William J. Osceola, Chairman Talbert Cypress and Assistant Chairman Lucas K. Osceola. (via Facebook)

The Miccosukee Tribe is due to open a new casino in November at the Miccosukee Service Plaza, located just off Interstate 75 at exit 49 at 47801 W State Road 84 in Ochopee.

The Miccosukee Service Plaza Casino will feature 150 slot machines in an 8,500 square foot nonsmoking space, located next to the already open Glades Cafe and Dunkin’ Donuts, according to the tribe. It will also offer beer and wine. Officials describe it as a multimillion-dollar expansion of tribal operations.

The tribe first ventured into the gaming industry when it opened the Miccosukee Indian Bingo Hall in 1990. After many successful years, it opened the Miccosukee Casino & Resort in 1999 at the edge of the Everglades at 500 SW 177 Ave. in Miami.

“We haven’t had an expansion in about two decades since the resort,” William J. Osceola, the tribe’s Business Council secretary, said at the groundbreaking event according to media reports. “It’s important because we need room to grow as a community. A tree doesn’t get bigger if you contain its roots.”

Chairman Talbert Cypress said the tribe expects the casino to be a revenue generator that will help fund future projects.

“This is original reservation land and we haven’t had the resources to build out here, and we’re hoping this does that,” he said at the event.

“We’re proud of how far the tribe has come and I’m glad they’re finally adding onto this part of the tribal land,” Jane Osceola Billie, a former tribal judge, said at the groundbreaking.

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