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Choctaw Casinos & Resorts wins big at SBC Awards North America

May 13, 2024

Choctaw Nation’s Janie Dillard named Tribal Gaming Leader of the Year

DURANT, Okla. (May 10, 2024)- Choctaw Casinos & Resorts won big at the 2024 SBC Awards North America in New York Thursday night, taking home three major industry awards. The SBC Awards North America recognizes the achievements of gaming and online betting operators in the U.S. and Canada.

Choctaw Casinos & Resorts was named Employer of the Year and was also recognized for its flagship property in Durant, which helped the casino brand earn Tribal Gaming Operator of the Year. Janie Dillard, Choctaw Nation’s senior executive officer over commerce, was named Tribal Gaming Leader of the Year.

Dillard has been a key part of Choctaw Nation gaming and commerce expansion, continuing to find innovative ways to set the tribe apart since 1987. The SBC Awards recognized Dillard for her efforts in 2023, which included launching the award-winning brand campaign “Where the Players Play” featuring Dallas Cowboys legends Troy Aikman, Darren Woodson and Emmitt Smith, and Texas Rangers All-Star catcher Ivan Pudge Rodriguez. “Where the Players Play,” was especially big for Dillard because Choctaw was the first in the tribal gaming industry to incorporate star athletes into a casino brand.

Dillard also spent much of 2023 planning and preparing for the grand opening of Choctaw Landing, Choctaw Casinos & Resorts newest location in Hochatown. The 100-room destination is different than other Choctaw casino locations Dillard has spearheaded, focusing more heavily on the Choctaw culture and creating a family friendly atmosphere. It includes 600 slot machines, eight table games, a restaurant, mercantile, pool and outdoor amphitheater. Construction of the multi-use property has created more than 2,000 new jobs and the project will have an economic impact of more than $211 million. Choctaw Landing held a soft opening in April, and the grand opening is Thursday, May 23, 2024.

“For Janie, innovation is the key to moving forward. She’s been that way since the beginning,” said Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton. “Her curiosity and experience drive her to be the best in the industry. She is truly remarkable. As the gaming industry continues to grow, so does Janie. She is always one step ahead.”

Dillard is also passionate about helping women rise through the ranks in the gaming industry, which has traditionally been male dominant. She serves as commissioner of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women and travels throughout the nation speaking at women’s leadership conferences, such as the 2023 Dallas Mavericks’ “Be That Diamond” Symposium.

Choctaw Casinos & Resorts’ Tribal Gaming Operator of the Year award comes after a year of improvement and big moves in the gaming industry. The brand’s “Where the Players Play” campaign made a big splash, as did the refreshed Choctaw Rewards Club. Choctaw became the first casino brand in the region to bring customers an all-encompassing rewards program, across all Choctaw Casinos, where guests can earn points on most non-gaming purchases.

The Durant property also introduced an industry-leading promotion in 2023 – 3 Months 3 Millionaires – that saw three lucky rewards club members walk away millionaires last summer. The promotion was so successful that industry peers followed suit. The award is also a testament to the physical upgrades Choctaw Casino & Resort – Durant underwent in 2023, adding the five-venue District Food Hall that features Velvet Taco, as well as remodeling all 329 rooms inside the Grand Tower.

Choctaw Casinos & Resorts took home Employer of the Year, thanks to its dedication to the associates who help make the brand stand out. In 2023, Choctaw Nation was finishing construction on 300 employee apartments in Durant and Broken Bow to make affordable housing a reality for casino associates.

Choctaw Casinos & Resorts also partnered with Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in 2023 to create a food and beverage training program at no cost to associates working within hospitality. The program also offers participants the opportunity to earn an associate degree.

Additionally, employees can take advantage of the Employee Education Assistance Program (EEAP) which provides up to $5,000 per year in financial assistance to an accredited college or university for associates, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree.

“It’s an honor to see Choctaw Casinos & Resorts recognized for its efforts to not only stay at the front of industry trends, but also to prioritize the wellbeing of its associates,” said Heidi Grant, Senior Executive Officer of Commerce for Choctaw Nation. “We’re excited to continue finding ways to elevate Choctaw Casinos & Resorts for our guests and associates, alike.”

Choctaw Casinos & Resorts was also a finalist for Social Gaming Operator of the Year and Marketing Campaign & Sponsorship of the Year.


About Choctaw Casino & Resorts

Owned and operated by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 225,000 tribal members and 12,000 employees. Choctaw Casinos & Resorts features a variety of gaming, hotel and resort properties throughout southeastern Oklahoma, including Durant, Grant, Pocola, Idabel, Broken Bow, McAlester, Stigler and Stringtown.  In spring 2024, Choctaw Nation opened a 100-room luxury resort, Choctaw Landing in Hochatown, OK.  For more information, visit .



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