Quapaw Tribe Wants To Expand Casino In Southeast Kansas

Monday, September 30th 2013, 7:37 am
By: News On 6

The Quapaw tribe of Oklahoma is hoping to expand Downstream Casino in Ottawa County into Cherokee County, Kansas.

KOAM TV, the CBS affiliate in Joplin, Missouri reports the plan includes the distribution of state compact fees to the cities of Galena, Baxter Springs, and the Riverton School District. The tribe has requested a legal opinion from the National Indian Gaming Commission and is awaiting word from that before moving forward.

"The city of Galena has been a close ally with the Quapaw Tribe. They're a large employer, they're assisting Cherokee County and the communities with sewer issues and environmental issues, so we consider Quapaw Tribe a value able asset and a member of the tri state family." says Galena Mayor, Dale Oglesby.

The casino wants to have Class 3 gaming, which consists of dice games and roulette, with the Kansas expansion because Oklahoma law prohibits it in casinos except in electronic form.

"They state they want to expand into Kansas because it would permit them to do class 3 gaming. Which they cannot do in Oklahoma under Oklahoma's Constitution." according to Galena City Attorney and Cherokee County Council Member, Kevin Cure.

The plan would expand the casino north into nearly 124 acres in the state of Kansas that currently serve as the casino's parking lot. 

The Quapaw tribe says they have been in talks with Governor Sam Brownback's office discussing a possible tribal-state gaming compact.

Downstream Casino officials say details of the compact are still in the works.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.