The State of Iowa will challenge a Nebraska-based tribe’s bid to build a casino on Iowa land. The National Indian Gaming Commission has granted the Ponca Tribe a "gaming ordinance" which gives the go-ahead for a tribe-operated casino in Carter Lake, Iowa. Carter Lake is an Iowa city, but it’s on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River.
"We’re going to ask the federal district court to review that decision, that approval by the National Indian Gaming Commission and our principle grounds is that the Ponca Tribe had repeatedly indicated that it did not intend to use that small plot — it’s about five acres — for a casino, but instead for a health clinic and other tribal services," Brammer says, "so we will be contesting that. We will be filing a legal action, a lawsuit if you will, in the next few weeks."
The National Indian Gaming Commission’s gaming ordinance was approved on December 31st. Brammer says this is a complicated area of law. "We have someone who digs in in this area periodically and who’s working heavily on this case," Brammer says, "and by the way there’s a fairly comparable action by the State of Nebraska seeking judicial review and we’ll be making litigation decisions on how our complaint or our legal action might relate to Nebraska’s, if at all."
Both legal challenges — from Iowa and from Nebraska — will be heard at the federal district court in Des Moines.