New Casino Project Launched In Landmark Display of Tribe-to-Tribe Assistance

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A rural Indian Tribe’s longtime dream of owning a casino is coming to life thanks to a helping hand from another Tribe

“Sovereign nation helping sovereign nation; it’s just the right thing to do,” --Johnny Winokur, CEO of Willapa Bay Enterprise Corporation

A rural Washington State Indian Tribe’s longtime dream of owning their own casino is coming to life this summer thanks to a helping hand from another Tribe more than five-hours away from them.

Rurally nestled in the North Cascades Mountain Range, the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe has engaged the help of Willapa Bay Enterprise Corporation, the economic development arm of the Tokeland Washington based Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe.

“Sovereign nation helping sovereign nation; it’s just the right thing to do,” explained Johnny Winokur, CEO of Willapa Bay Enterprise Corporation (WBE).

The Sauk-Suiattle casino project is being guided by Winokur, who is highly-regarded as a masterful operator of casinos in multiple jurisdictions, including his home town of Las Vegas.

“We put WBE back on the map with the massive successes of our own casino and other economic projects, and our incredible board has decided to spread that success to other Tribes interested in in Nation to Nation partnerships,” he continued.

In addition to his own WBE and personally-trained Shoalwater Bay Casino teams, Winokur has brought the Sauk-Suiattle an impressive lineup of expertise from WBE partners. Renowned leadership consultant Tina Hagedorn (of Hagedorn & Associates) originated the project between the two Tribes; and construction guru Josh Coit (of American General Construction) is leading the design and construction.

To add to his already formidable gaming expertise, Winokur also called on his old friend Gary Green, who brought along his own CEO, pioneering Indian Gaming attorney Buddy J. Levy, and the entire development team from Gary Green Gaming™ Inc.

“We have joined in this partnership with WBE as a labor of love, as well as profitability, to facilitate a number of these amazing Tribe-to-Tribe ventures” added Gary Green, who is the star of the network television series “Casino Rescue” and author of the bestselling Indian Casinos book “Osceola’s Revenge ― the Phenomena of Indian Casinos”.

Winokur, whose hands-on shirt-sleeve style is near-fabled in casino circles, has taken personal leadership of the day-to-day development process to fast track an opening before summer’s end.
“The Tribe-to-Tribe sharing that we are providing opens doors to economic development possibilities that otherwise might have been overlooked,” Winokur added.

The new casino, bingo hall, and café are set to open in August at 5318 Chief Brown Lane in Darrington, Washington.

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