he Midnight Star casino in Deadwood, South Dakota is in the final stages of construction and is slated for a reopening on July 1.
The South Dakota Commission on Gaming decided Tuesday to let gambling devices in Deadwood stay on casinos’ floors through New Year’s Eve without renewed licenses, provided they are sealed from use. The commission also approved licenses for the new owners and operators of the Midnight Star casino that actor Kevin Costner once owned. The business has been closed since August 2017.
The unlicensed-devices policy was a response to the Deadwood Gaming Association, whose members requested time to get revenue flowing again after a COVID-19 shutdown of the city’s gambling establishments.
At the Midnight Star, there will be slot machines on the first floor, gaming tables will be on the second floor, and the third floor will be Diamond Lil's restaurant, and the fourth floor will be used for private events.
The general manager said they will be "COVID safe," meaning everyone will have their temperature taken, employees will wear masks and sanitizing frequently, the addition of retractable plexiglass dividers at the slot machines, and a limit to three people at a table, KOTA TV reports.
"We feel that we're going to be here for the long-term," said Terry Houk, the General Manager at the Midnight Star. "The owners have made a massive investment and we'll get out of the virus and go on with life at some point. And so, if we have a few slow days, that's okay, we're going to be fine."
The new owners plan to open again before the Sturgis motorcycle rally starts in August. They are Lamar Feed and Grain LLC, a real-estate holding company, and Midnight Star LLC as the operator, Kelo reports. Roger Tellinghuisen, a Rapid City lawyer, organized the new Midnight Star company in February. A former state attorney general, among his lobbying clients at the Legislature this year was the Deadwood Gaming Association.
Costner’s brother, Daniel Costner, originally was listed as president and general partner on business filings with the South Dakota Secretary of State for Midnight Star Enterprises Ltd. Kevin Costner’s name first appeared on the South Dakota filing in 2002.