Quapaw Tribe slams casino expansion opposition as 'anti-Indian'

The Downstream Casino Resort. Photo from Facebook

The leader of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma is blasting a county in Kansas for opposing a casino expansion project.

The tribe plans to spend $15 million to expand the Downstream Casino Resort onto trust land in Kansas. Officials in Cherokee County, however, claim the property can't be used for gaming.

“It's absolutely ridiculous. It's anti-Indian, and anti-people of Cherokee County," Chairman John Berrey told The Cherokee County News-Advocate.

Artist's rendering shows the planned expansion at the Downstream Casino Resort. Image from Quapaw Tribe

The Bureau of Indian Affairs placed the land in question in trust in 2012. Generally, land acquired after 1988 isn't eligible for gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

However, Section 20 of the law contains an exception that applies to a tribe's "last recognized reservation" outside of Oklahoma. The Quapaw Tribe had a reservation in Kansas and the site falls within those boundaries, according to a determination from the National Indian Gaming Commission.

The state and the county initially opposed the tribe's land-into-trust application, the News-Advocate reported. A letter of opposition was withdrawn after they said the tribe promised not to use the property for gaming.

Get the Story:
County passes resolution against casino expansion — Tribe claims move is 'anti-Indian' (The Cherokee County News-Advocate 2/11)

Relevant Documents:
NIGC Indian Land Opinion (November 2014)

Related Stories
County opposes expansion of Quapaw Tribe casino into Kansas (2/10)

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