Port Yankton casino plan heads to state Senate floor

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A measure to put a proposed casino complex in Yankton on the ballot has narrowly survived its first legislative test.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 5-4 Wednesday to send the measure to the floor without recommendation. It will take a majority vote to debate the bill.

Kasi Haberman, Convention and Visitor's Bureau director in Yankton, says the Port Yankton casino and entertainment project is an effort to drive tourism for the city and state.

Opponents included tribes in Nebraska and South Dakota. Yankton Sioux Tribe Vice Chairman Jason Cooke says the tribe's casino employs people and helps support programming including education. Cooke says Port Yankton would be "very detrimental" to his tribe.

The proposed constitutional amendment would ask voters to allow a nonprofit group one gaming license in the southeastern South Dakota city.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)