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Alberta Casino Receives Approval

16 April 2004

EDMONTON, Alberta – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Enoch Cree Nation is pleased to announce that it has arrived at an important milestone in Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission's casino licensing process. The Enoch casino has been recommended for licensing once all elements of the proposal have been fulfilled.

"This is a historical and happy day for the Enoch Cree Nation," said Chief Ron Morin. "We are the first applicant to have achieved this approval under the First Nations Gaming Policy. We are proud to have led the way and to be well on our way to building an important tourism and recreation destination for our province."

The casino, which is to be built on reserve land situated near the Northeast corner of Whitemud Avenue and Winterburn Road, has been through a rigorous application process that included considerable community consultation with residents of the neighbourhood and a detailed economic impact study. Community consultation resulted in changes to the proposed plan in order to address community concerns.

"We know that this casino represents significant economic benefit to our community and to Greater Edmonton as a whole. The entire casino and hotel project will provide over 700 jobs to our people, and in addition we are looking at returning a benefit of over $20 million annually to the Greater Edmonton region," explained Robert Morin, President of the Enoch Community Development Corporation. (See attached for detailed economic benefit summary).

The casino will be an important tourism destination intended to draw visitors to the Greater Edmonton region. In addition to the dollars that will be generated for the Enoch Me'chet Charity, there will be considerable revenue to the Alberta Lottery Fund, which supports a range of community and charitable groups. "Equally important is the 10% of all slot revenues that is held in a First Nations Development fund to benefit all non casino host First Nations. Enoch's attainment of a casino facility license will be a significant stepping stone for all First Nations of Alberta, as it will undoubtedly be followed by other First Nation casinos, whose participation in gaming will greatly contribute to the economic standing and quality of life for all Alberta First Nations," stated Chief Ron Morin.

"The positive economic spin-off to our people will be significant - and this is an important step in building a healthy economic future for Enoch and other First Nations people," concluded Chief Morin. "We are optimistic about what this casino represents for our future, we are confident that we can have a positive and mutually respectful relationship with our neighbours, and we know that this venue will become a valued recreation destination. We want to thank the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission for their confidence in us."

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