Gun Lake Casino’s New Poker Room Is Finally Open

While most of the country has sports betting and football on the mind, one Michigan casino is doubling down on poker.

Gun Lake Casino, part of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi Indians, announced the expansion of its gaming offerings with a brand new poker room back in May. Four months later, the poker room is a reality.

Sal Semola, president and chief operating officer for Gun Lake Casino, spoke of the new addition to MLive.com.

“This is a great new amenity that our guests have asked for. The Gun Lake Tribe has done a tremendous job listening to our guests and community to continue to pave the way for new offerings here at Gun Lake Casino.”

The Gun Lake Casino Poker Room

The casino did its due diligence before deciding to invest in poker for the casino. The Tribe performed “extensive research to determine market demands” to determine whether a new poker room was a viable and sustainable option.

The 3,500 square-foot Gun Lake Casino Poker Room houses 14 tables and opened to the public mid-Sept. The non-smoking room spreads most traditional forms of poker including Omaha and Texas hold’em. It offers both cash games and tournaments.

The poker room resides in the space formerly occupied by Johnny Rockets and Villa Pizza. The leases for both restaurants ended in December, making room for the new addition.

The new poker room is the opening act for a new 475,000-square-foot parking structure scheduled to open in October.

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Gun Lake Casino expansion results in tremendous growth

Gun Lake Casino is located on US-131 at exit 61, halfway between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo in Wayland, Michigan.

The poker room isn’t the only expansion Gun Lake Casino has seen lately. It underwent a massive $76 million expansion project that began in Jan. 2016 and finished in May 2017.

The new expansion added over 100 new jobs in addition to the 60 new jobs the new poker room brought in. The Tribe now employs nearly 1,300 people, making it the fourth-largest employer in Allegan County.

Tribal officials credit the casino expansion for the nearly 25 percent revenue growth. The casino first opened in 2011. Since that time, the Tribe has contributed more than $75 million to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The money provides funding for business grants and job growth programs in the state.

Scott Sprague, Chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe, commented on the Tribes contributions in a June press release.

“We are proud to continue offering great benefits to the local community in the form of jobs and revenue sharing payments. These economic impacts are growing through employee wages, vendor spending and state and local revenue sharing payments.”

About

Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at kimyuhl.com.