The Chickasaw Nation owns and operates The Riverstar Casino in Terral, Oklahoma. Photo: The Riverstar Casino

Comanche Nation loses bid to derail rival tribe's casino

A federal appeals court has turned away the Comanche Nation in its efforts to derail a rival tribe's casino in Oklahoma.

The tribe contends the Bureau of Indian Affairs should not have placed land in trust for the new Chickasaw Nation facility. But the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said the Comanches failed to make a case.

"We take the view of the district court that Comanche Nation is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its challenge to a decision by the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for the benefit of Chickasaw Nation and approve the land for gaming," Judge Carlos F. Lucero wrote for the court in the 13-page ruling.

Indianz.Com on Google Maps: Chickasaw Nation Gaming Facilities

The Chickasaw Nation opened the RiverStar Casino on March 1. It's located in Terral, just a few miles from the Texas border, a major gaming market.

The BIA approved the land-into-trust application for the casino on the last full day of the Obama administration in January 2017. Indianz.Com published the deed from the acquisition around that time.

But the Trump administration held up the official notice of the acquisition until July 2017. That didn't stop the Chickasaws from breaking ground, however.

The Comanche Nation operates the Red River Hotel and Casino about 45 miles from the Chickasaw site. The tribe also has land about 10 miles from Terral where it has hoped to open a casino.

According to the Comanches, revenues at Red River will fall 25 percent as a result of the new development. The 10th Circuit, however, said economic concerns do not require the BIA to consult the tribe before approving the land-into-trust application.

"Comanche Nation again relies solely on socioeconomic effects of the new casino, and for the reasons stated above, that is not enough to show it was necessarily an appropriate consulting tribe in this case," the decision stated.

The tribe is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of addressing the situation, an attorney told Indianz.Com.

The Chickasaw Nation operates nearly two dozens casinos, more than any other tribe in Oklahoma and more than any other tribe in the United States.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Comanche Nation v. Zinke.

Read More on the Story
Chickasaw casino near Terral gets green light from federal appellate court (The Oklahoman December 15, 2018)

10th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision
Comanche Nation v. Zinke (December 14, 2018)

Federal Register Notices
Land Acquisitions; The Chickasaw Nation [Terral Site] (July 18, 2017)
Land Acquisitions; The Chickasaw Nation [Willis Site] (July 18, 2017)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Comanche Nation heads to court to battle Chickasaw Nation casino (September 18, 2018)
Another tribe wins approval for ball and dice games in Oklahoma (September 17, 2018)
Comanche Nation citizens warned of big hit from rival Chickasaw Nation casino (April 23, 2018)
Comanche Nation sees setback in effort to stop new Chickasaw Nation casino (November 15, 2017)
Comanche Nation sues over last-minute approval of Chickasaw Nation casino (August 21, 2017)
Oklahoma tribes won casino approvals on last day of Obama administration (July 19, 2017)
Chickasaw Nation breaks ground on $10M casino by Texas border (May 25, 2017)