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Despite the legal challenges set before by the City of Council Bluffs, the Nebraskan tribe continues to stick on to their casino plans. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska seems to be navigating with its plans to open a casino in Carter Lake, despite the existence of some issues regarding a legal challenge that involves the City of Council Bluffs. The casino would be built at the Ponca Smoke Signals building in Carter Lake, Iowa.
Larry Wright Jr., the Chairman of the Ponca Tribe, said that tribal leaders are persistently trying to keep members informed of proposed casino details. “We’re moving forward. We’re evaluating and weighing our options,” he said.
The idea of building a casino was rejected ten years back. The Attorneys General for Nebraska and Iowa, along with police and local governments, opposed the proposal of casino development near the Carter Lake. Authorities voiced their concerns that the casino could proliferate the crime rate in Omaha.
In November 2017, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) ruled in favour of the tribe and said that a casino could be constructed on five acres of land owned in Carter Lake. A month later, Council Bluffs City Attorney, Richard Wade filed a complaint in Court based on the fact that the tribe does not qualify to use the property to build a casino.
Wade said that the Ponca casino would compete with existing state-licensed gambling facilities, which contribute with millions every year. Wright said that the lawsuit was an unfortunate move as they didn’t try to talk to them. “We’re always open to talk,” he added.
Mark Gaston, a spokesman for the Indian Gaming Commission, said: “The industry has seen growth over the last five years. Many tribes game or seek to game on their Indian lands … as a form of economic development. Gaming creates jobs and generates revenue for tribes.”
Source: European Gaming News