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Tribe Gets Ready To Open Gaming Hall

Mon., Dec. 11, 1995

The operation will be small but the payoffs big when the Nez Perce launch their first gaming venture in Kamiah in less than two weeks, tribal members say.

Around-the-clock electronic pull-tab machines and electronic bingo will be offered at the tribe’s gaming hall in the former Valley Tavern, now being readied for opening, tribal gaming manager Diana Pinkham said Friday.

The operation will be one of just a handful around the country using all-electronic bingo equipment, she said.

The doors will open without fanfare around Dec. 20, she said, and a grand opening is set for Dec. 31. While seating will be limited to 70 people, a small number compared with other places, Pinkham said the cash payoffs and other prizes will rival or even best them.

The pull-tab machines will give payoffs of up to $100,000, she said. The bingo machines will allow play of up to 100 cards at once.

Hiring of about 50 full-time employees will begin next week, with preference given to tribal members. That is good news for the Nez Perce, who suffer from seasonal unemployment rates as high as 70 percent.

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