No Eligibility Ruling Yet On Broken Arrow's Proposed Red Clay Casino
The National Indian Gaming Commission has yet to determine the eligibility of gaming on the proposed site for the Red Clay Casino in Broken Arrow.
In a letter from the NIGC sent to U.S. Senator Tom Coburn and Congressman John Sullivan says the neither the National Indian Gaming Commission nor the Bureau of Indian Affairs has made a determination on whether the proposed property is Indian lands eligible for gaming under IGRA.
Both Coburn and Sullivan asked the question in a letter dated January 6, 2012.
If the property near 129th East Avenue and 110th Street South in Broken Arrow is determined to not be eligible, the NIGC may bring enforcement action and issue a closure order.
Statement from Congressman John Sullivan:
"We are making progress in our efforts to stop the casino – this letter confirms that neither BIA nor NIGC has even made a determination about whether this land is eligible for gaming. Community opposition is growing by the day - over 1,000 new names have been added to the citizen petition since I hand delivered it to the Chairwoman just two days ago. Moving forward, we have to keep the pressure on - I am committed to exploring every legal avenue necessary to ensure that our churches, schools and neighborhoods are protected from this casino, and that the process is done right. I am confident that Chairwoman Stevens understands the gravity of this situation, and the need for NIGC to act quickly to resolve this issue."
Statement from Broken Arrow Citizens Against Neighborhood Gaming:
"The Broken Arrow Citizens Against Neighborhood Gaming, LLC (BACANG) is pleased that Chairwoman Stevens and the NIGC staff is carefully considering the law and we expect this agency to rule that these lands are not Indian lands suitable for gaming under IGRA. It is clear from the Chairwoman's perspective that the Kialegee Tribal Town does not have the necessary approvals to move forward with a gaming facility in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. Community-wide opposition continues to grow at an accelerated rate with now over 6,300 signed petitions. It is clear that many now see this proposed casino as an illegal encroachment on Muskogee (Creek) tribal lands and its sovereignty and should not be developed next to our schools, churches and neighborhoods. BACANG appreciates the continued leadership of Congressman John Sullivan and the entire Oklahoma delegation on this important matter."
Congressman Sullivan and U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe have sent a letter to assistant secretary of Indian Affairs and the National Indian Gaming Commission questioning whether the Kialegee Tribal Town have acquired approval on a lease agreement from the U.S. Department Of Interior before they started work on the proposed casino site.
In their letter, both men questioned the Kialegee's willingness to comply with federal laws, "there are many legitimate concerns about the legality of the casino project being pursued by the Kialegee Tribal Town. Many residents and concerned citizens have reached out to our offices to express their displeasure with the proposal. We share their frustration that the Kialegee Tribal Town seems unwilling to comply with or entertain the federal laws governing gaming and the leasing of restricted lands."