Angela Heikes

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

2330 Sioux Trail NW Prior Lake, MN 55372

Based in Minnesota, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community were federally recognized in 1969 and operate the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino.


The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community can trace their ancestors back to the Dakota people who lived in the Minnesota River Valley for hundreds of years before official records began.

Between 1805 and 1858, the US Government systematically removed all of the land from the Dakota people, who were moved to a reservation. In 1886, Congress created the Shakopee Mdewakanton Reservation, Prairie Island Indian Community Reservation, Upper Sioux Indian Reservation and Lower Sioux Indian Reservations. 

The tribe gained federal recognition in 1969 and soon afterwards created a government. 

The first gaming operation from the tribe was opened in 1982 as the Little Six Bingo Palace, which would later become the Little Six Casino after the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed. Its second establishment, the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, was opened in 1992. 

In 2023, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community reintroduced a bison herd back onto off-reservation trust land. The bison were gifted by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe and were transported by the Minnesota Zoo.

Tribal Government

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) government is primarily made up of the General Council and the Business Council. The General Council is the highest governing body of the tribe and oversees all matters including appointing people to the Business Council, Gaming Commission and Gaming Board of Directors.

The Business Council deals with the health, education and welfare needs of SMSC members.

The Gaming Commission ensures that operations adhere to state, federal and tribal laws, as well as licensing facilities, devices, employees, and vendors.

Slightly differently, the SMSC Gaming Enterprise Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino.

Tribal gaming operations

Little Six Casino

The gaming floor at Little Six Casino has around 800 slot machines, which accept multiple denominations. These games include scatter, cash-on-reels and free games. There are also currently two progressives in play; Wild Bluebells and Dancing Drums and Double Blessings.


The Little Six Casino building was originally opened in 1982 as the Little Six Bingo. The name comes from Dakota Chief Sakpe, also known as Little Six, a leader during the Dakota War of 1862. 

The property was renovated in 1990 and reopened to allow for a new gaming floor. This was due to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act which passed in 1988. During this rebranding, the name was changed to Little Six Casino. 

A new venue was then opened in December 2007, which the current Little Six Casino operates out of, but has since moved back to the original Little Six Bingo location.

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

The Mystic Lake Casino gaming floor has over 4,000 slot machines, including traditional single-game slots, multi-game machines and touchscreen panels. There are also a few dozen progressives, including Bao Zhu Zhao Fu and Buffalo Cash. There is also a dedicated High Limit slot room. 

There are also over 100 table games with live dealers, including blackjack, as well as electronic table games including Big Six wheel.

The casino also includes a bingo hall, which offers a range of themes and styles, including Cosmic Bingo, Classic Club M Bingo and matinee sessions.

The hotel area of the resort has over 700 rooms, suites and suites available, many of them with optional adjoining rooms. Guests can also use The Meadows at Mystic Lake Golf Course, as well as The Spa at Mystic Lake.


The Mystic Lake Casino Hotel first opened in 1992, a full decade after the first Little Six Bingo Hall was opened. 

In 2018, the Mystic Lake Center was officially opened to the public.

Non-gaming operations

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community operates a range of non-gaming enterprises, including the Dakotah! Sport and Fitness Center, the Dakotah! Ice Center, the Hoċokata Ṫi Public Exhibit, JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America, Wozupi Tribal Gardens and others.

Product Spotlight

Bragg Gaming Group

Bragg Gaming Group is a global content-driven iGaming technology provider, serving online and land-based gaming operators with its proprietary and exclusive content and cutting-edge technology.

John Connelly - Interblock preparing to launch online by the end of year

John Connelly, the Global CEO of Interblock, joins the Huddle to talk about:
- The company's conversion to the online space
- The performance of ETGs
- Interblock's new philanthropic efforts
- The trend of companies going private
- And more!

Michael Hershman - Dispelling casino 'myths:' New York needs to lose fear of the unknown

Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, joins Tim Poole on the Huddle to put forward his case that the Freedom Plaza is the way to go for one of New York's casino licences. He fields a variety of questions - not shying away from any of them - on why 'myths' about casinos and a fear of the unknown should be dispelled, as well as acknowledging the strength of rival bids and discussing opposition to the project.

As the Tribal gaming sector congregates once more in the Golden State, is it too cliché of me to suggest we are heading for a golden era of Tribal gaming? With the industry set to meet at the Indian Gaming Association t...

From The Top: Will youth be served by Sports Betting?
Two recent interviews in our Huddle podcast revealed to Las Vegas correspondent Brian Joseph just how young sports betting entrepreneurs are becoming.
The Global Gaming Awards: Rewarding Excellence
The 10th edition of the Global Gaming Awards took place in Las Vegas last year. Gaming America looks back... and ahead to this year's.
Preview: Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention
Gaming America looks ahead to the 2024 Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention and what attendees can expect when they arrive at the Anaheim Convention Centre.
888 and the US Market: A cautionary tale
Gaming America explores the risk of resting on your laurels and the challenge of remaining relevant in a rapidly expanding market.