THE BEST OF GAMING 2017 Best Casino: FireKeepers Casino Native Midwest here are dozens of casinos scattered through the Native Midwest, a sprawl-ing region that takes you from the Great Lakes through woodlands, fields, streams and into the more urban environs of Milwaukee and Minneapolis. It’s a vast region that was right at the head of the line to adopt tribal gaming when it was legalized. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 was signed into law, many tribes were ready to go. The first casino in Minnesota, Jackpot Junction on Lower Sioux land in Redwood County, had opened as a bingo hall in 1984, and then rolled out slots and table games in the first wave in 1988. Native American gaming in the Midwest thrives in areas with populations large and small throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, and in smaller numbers in Iowa and Kansas. At many casinos, guests have abundant opportunities to mix a little hiking, fishing, swimming and boating with their gaming. But that doesn’t mean the properties skimp on their own amenities. The Best Overall Gaming Resort, FireKeepers Casino, just outside Battle Creek, Michigan, is well-situated to bring in travelers and locals a like. It’s just off Interstate 94, a heavily traveled route between Chicago and Detroit, and you can’t miss its enormous 106 SEPTEMBER 2017 • www.casinocenter.com T sign, especially at night with lights blazing. Throughout the property, tribute is paid to the firekeepers of the Nottawaseppi Band of the Huron Pottawatomi, right down to the Smoke ‘N Fire Restaurant and Amazen Blazen quick-serve outlet. Readers say it has the Native Midwest’s Best Hotel, Best Pool, Best Slot Tourna-ments and Best Blackjack, and it’s the Best Casino. Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee, the second choice for Best Overall Gaming Resort, is right in the heart of the city. It’s just about two and a half miles from the Milwaukee Art Museum and less than eight miles from the famed Milwaukee Zoo. There are more than 3,000 slots as well as table games, a bingo hall, comfortable hotel and a wide range of dining options. Readers found things to love throughout the property, choosing it for Best Suites, Favorite Casino Resort to Vacation At, Best Players Club, Best Comps, Best Live Poker and Casino Where You Feel The Luckiest. Soaring Eagle, the third choice for Best Overall Gaming Resort, is a perennial reader favorite and frequent poll-topper. An all-around high-quality resort experience, Soaring Eagle won the vote for Best Rooms, Best Spa and Best Craps.