Ponca Tribe Scores in Appeals Court docket Vs Iowa, Nebraska in On line casino Row

Posted on: September 1, 2021, 02:12h. 

Last up-to-date on: September 1, 2021, 02:12h.

A federal appeals courtroom has upheld the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska’s authorized proper to have built its Prairie Flower On line casino in Carter Lake, Iowa.

Prairie Flower Casino
The Ponca opened its modest Prairie Flower On line casino in Carter Lake in 2018 just after yrs of authorized battles. (Impression: AZCentral)

The tribe opened the on line casino in November 2018, regardless of going through authorized issues that sought to derail the task for extra than a ten years.

On Monday, the Eighth Circuit panel of 3 judges dominated that the Ponca Restoration Act (PRA) of 1990 approved the tribe to conduct business enterprise on the land it acquired in Carter Lake in 1999, and that contains gaming.

Land Dispute

Earlier, Iowa Assistant Attorney Standard John Lundquist had argued the Carter Lake parcel was not eligible for a casino because it was not component of the lands restored to the tribe by PRA.

In actuality, the Act only particularly determined land in Knox and Boyd Counties, Nebraska — some 100 miles absent — as that which “shall be transferred to the condition for the gain of the Tribe,” Lundquist claimed.

But the panel wrote this did not indicate the US Secretary of the Interior “lacks authority to restore lands somewhere else.”

“Congress has revealed that it understands how to restrict a tribe’s capability to carry out gaming on its land when it wishes to do so,” it continued. “The Ponca Restoration Act, by contrast, has no language limiting gaming or the ‘restoration of lands’ for the Tribe.”

Quirky Geography

It is not just the State of Iowa that has been pursuing the Ponca by way of the courts, but also the Condition of Nebraska.

That is since of the peculiar geography of Carter Lake, a two-mile tract of Iowa that lies west of the Missouri River and is surrounded entirely by Nebraska. The anomaly was created by flooding that transformed the study course of the river all around 140 years ago.

Carter Lake is in Iowa but to all intents and uses it is in Nebraska. In the meantime, the Town of Council Bluffs is on the other side of the river but also in Iowa. It joined the scenario for the reason that it wants to guard its present commercial casinos, Ameristar, Harrah’s, and the Horseshoe, which beforehand got all the footfall from the other aspect of the river.

Collectively, the 3 casinos pay about $80 million in taxes to the condition just about every yr, and an supplemental $2 million to the metropolis, according to The Des Moines Sign-up.

Prairie Flower

This is not the to start with time the Ponca have scored a massive authorized victory in a federal courtroom. In 1879, the tribe’s main Standing Bear efficiently argued that Indigenous Us citizens ended up “persons in just the meaning of the regulation,” winning the suitable of habeus corpus.

The Prairie Flower Casino is named for Standing Bear’s daughter, who experienced died through or shortly right after the tribe’s pressured “removal” to Oklahoma two years earlier.

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