The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska is now set to open its casino, which is right now in its development phase in Carter Lake, Iowa. It has announced to inaugurate the casino in late October, in spite of having legal issues from the states of Nebraska and Iowa.
Ponca Tribe started constructing this controversial gambling venue way back in June. The Chairman of Ponca tribal Larry Wright Jr. released a statement stating that the venue will be developed in multiple phases and that the first phase will have a 9,500-square-foot gaming floor with a capacity to install 200 slot machines. There is no table game right now in this venue.
The Chairman also stated that the casino will be named as Prairie Flower Casino, which is named after the daughter of a former chief of the tribe who died during the forced evacuation of Poncas’ from their native land Nebraska.
The first phase of casinos development is about to create 100 job opportunities. In addition to having a casino, this venue will also be equipped with a bar and a snack bar. As per rules and regulations, the casinos will allow only people above 21 years of age and will be allowed on the gaming floor. It has also been announced by the tribe that soon the official grand opening date of the casino will be announced in some time when the construction will reach its final touches.
It is expected that with the upcoming opening of the gambling venue the lengthy legal and bureaucratic controversy will also come to an end which the tribe has been fighting for years to bring the casino in reality.
Finally Ponca Set to Open Casino
In the late 19th century the tribe was forced out of Nebraska and at the same time, their status as an independent nation was also taken away by the Federal Government. After a lot of legal battle, the tribe could manage to regain its recognition by the Congress in the 1990s. As per the federal law, tribes can open and operate gambling venues so long it is built on the land they own and gambling is legal in that specific state.
In the fall of the last year, the National Indian Gaming Commission stated that the Ponca Tribe can construct its gaming casino on 5 acres of land Carter Lake that it owns. Now the tribe has 4,300 enrolled members, half of whom are residents of low and Nebraska.
But now the tribe is being sued by both Nebraska and Iowa states. Lowa first legally challenged the construction of the casino, with the statement that it would drain out revenue from the state’s existing casinos, which would, in turn, adversely impact the overall tax contributions of the state.
In the same line, Nebraska joined the anti-casino drive in this year. In the state casino gambling is illegal and the officials raised a voice saying that they cannot support a gambling property in the proximity of the border. The City of Carter Lake is situated in Iowa and it is geographically surrounded by Nebraska land.
In this way, considering the geographical positioning, the Ponca Tribe’s casino has been constructed less than a mile from the Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska. From the airfield, the casino can get millions of players per year. Carter Lake is also just five minutes from downtown Omaha which is the homes for more than 900,000 people.