The Meskwaki Casino in Tama may have crossed the last hurdle to open for business once again. The hotel and restaurant remained open but the tribe’s lucrative hundred-million-dollar-a-year casino was closed last spring, while tribal leaders struggled for control. After the National Indian Gaming Commission ordered the casino closed, saying laws require having one clearly identified authority in charge of a gambling business, the tribe organized an election and held a primary, a recall vote and one more vote to fill positions vacated by the recall. The voting process was planned and carried out in agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the BIA this week ruled on an administrative appeal. Iowa senator Chuck Grassley says the agency’s opinion confirming the election results removes the last barrier to re-opening the casino. Once the gambling hall’s up and rolling, it’ll mean the return of 1300 jobs in the small community of Tama.
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