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North Dakota tribe plans to launch riverboat gambling yacht

NEW TOWN, N.D. (AP) — The Three Affiliated Tribes plans to dedicate a yacht next month that eventually will be used for a riverboat gambling operation on the Missouri River in North Dakota.

The tribe earlier this year reached an agreement with the state to allow for the expansion of gambling on the Fort Berthold Reservation, which straddles the Lake Sakakawea reservoir on the Missouri. A yacht currently is being assembled at the tribally owned 4 Bears Casino and Lodge west of New Town, the Minot Daily News reported.

The top portion of the 96-foot-long yacht arrived about a month ago from Skipper Lines Corp. in Wisconsin, and the bottom half arrived last Thursday, tribal spokeswoman Glenda Embry said. A crew of 10 is assembling the 149-passenger boat, which Tribal Chairman Tex Hall said will be dedicated early next month, before the Fourth of July.

The yacht will be used initially to provide dinner and entertainment for casino customers and later for gambling.

The Spirit Lake Nation's gambling agreement with the state allows that tribe to also conduct riverboat gambling, but the tribe on Devils Lake has not yet offered it.