A South Dakota casino owned by Hollywood notable Kevin Costner has shut its doors for good after 26 years of business.
On Tuesday, the Midnight Star casino in Deadwood, SD announced it was riding off into the sunset, leaving around 40 staff members out of a job. The property opened in 1991, the same year the Costner-directed, South Dakota-located Dances With Wolves won multiple Academy Awards, including Best Director for Costner.
In an emailed statement to the Rapid City Journal, Costner said he had a “heavy heart” in announcing the casino’s closure, but said the property had a great run and he was “enormously proud of what the Midnight Star became.”
The property was an immediate hit following its opening, offering retail shopping, dining and drinking options in addition to gaming, along with plenty of Costner’s movie memorabilia. But the rapid expansion of casino operations across the US eventually took its toll, as newer and flashier options opened closer to home for many Midnight Star customers.
Costner said he opened the casino because of his “deep love for Deadwood and the Black Hills of South Dakota,” but Costner has been downsizing his presence in the state, including selling some of the 1k acres of land he owned near Deadwood.
The suddenness of the closure appears to have caught state regulators off guard, as South Dakota Commission on Gaming deputy executive secretary Craig Sparrow would only say he had “no comment about nothing” regarding the Midnight Star’s demise.
Costner’s future movie roles include Molly’s Game, the Aaron Sorkin-directed version of Molly Bloom’s book recalling her years playing host to exclusive high-stakes poker games involving film stars, athletes and Wall Street traders. The so-called ‘poker princess’ was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty in 2013 to operating an illegal gambling business. Costner will play Molly’s father in the film, which opens November 22.