Quapaw Tribe did not include casino on land-into-trust request

The Downstream Casino Resort. Photo from Facebook

The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma did not include a casino on its land-into-trust application in Arkansas.

The tribe acquired 160 acres within its former reservation for more than $1.3 million. A land-into-trust application for the site is pending before the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"The acquisition of the land is necessary to facilitate tribal self-determination, and to maintain the continuing cultural identity of the tribe by preservation of historic and cultural sites, practices, and identity of the Quapaw Tribe," Chairman John Berrey told the BIA when the application was filed, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

By not stating that the property will be used for gaming, the application won't face additional scrutiny by the BIA's central office in Washington, D.C. But that doesn't mean the tribe wouldn't be able to use the land for a casino sometime in the future.

That's the situation unfolding in neighboring Kansas. The tribe submitted a land-into-trust application for a property within a different former reservation there and said it wouldn't be used for a casino.

But after the National Indian Gaming Commission determined that the site qualifies for gaming, the tribe announced a $15 million expansion of the Downstream Casino Resort. The facility sits on properties in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri but gaming is currently limited to land in trust on the Oklahoma side.

As for Arkansas, the BIA is asking local governments for their views on the application. The property is located near the the Port of Little Rock, the Clinton Presidential Center and the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Get the Story:
Trust filing says Quapaws have no plans for 160 acres (The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 3/26)

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