Mystic Lake Casino Starts Selling Alcohol, Creates 70 Jobs
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel—Minnesota’s largest casino based on games—began serving beer, wine, and liquor on Wednesday, a move that will ultimately create 70 new jobs.
Mystic Lake, located in Prior Lake, joins a long list of other Minnesota casinos and card clubs that serve alcohol. Until Wednesday, it was the only casino among the state’s four biggest that didn’t offer such beverages.
Mystic Lake, which already employed nearly 2,800, said that it has begun filling the 70 new positions being created by alcohol sales—which range from bartenders and banquet servers to cooks. All positions are expected to be filled by the end of the year.
Alcohol must be purchased and will not be complimentary for casino patrons, as it is at some major gaming establishments. Alcohol will initially be offered in two Mystic Lake restaurants—Mystic Steakhouse and Meadows Bar & Grille—and in the casino’s meeting and convention areas. Mystic Lake said that the service will be expanded to various locations near the gaming floor over the next month.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized Indian tribe that operates Mystic Lake, had to receive approval from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety in order to be able to sell alcohol at the casino. The approval process began in May, and casino officials expected it to take longer than it did.
“Alcohol service was the most frequent guest request we received over the past 20 years,” Edward Stevenson, president and CEO of the SMSC Gaming Enterprise, which runs Mystic Lake, told Twin Cities Business via e-mail. “Mystic Lake has been evolving toward a casino resort atmosphere for many years, including the addition of a championship golf course, a spa, and new and improved restaurants. The availability of alcohol is another critical part of that resort experience.”
Stevenson added that Mystic Lake is “hopeful this will have a positive impact on our convention facilities and may increase hotel stays.”
Mystic Lake opened in 1992. It operates nearly 3,900 games and has 139,000 square feet of gaming space. It also has 576 hotel rooms and 16 suites on site.
The casino said that it has provided alcohol service and alcohol awareness training to employees.
Among Minnesota’s 20 casinos and card clubs, 14 now serve alcohol. After Mystic Lake, the largest ones based on games are Grand Casino Hinckley, Treasure Island Resort & Casino, and Black Bear Casino Resort—all of which serve alcohol.
To see a comprehensive list of casinos in Minnesota, and to learn which ones serve alcohol, click here.