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Quapaw Tribe looks for support to expand casino in Cherokee coun - KOAM TV 7

Quapaw Tribe looks for support to expand casino in Cherokee County Kansas

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The idea of bringing gaming back to Southeast Kansas is slowly progressing. While ideas are still being tossed around, the Quapaw tribe of Oklahoma is hoping to expand Downstream Casino into Cherokee County Kansas...and that could bring new games into the area.

"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.

Class three gaming would permit dice games and roulette.

Talks are preliminary...but the Quapaw Tribe is looking to expand into Cherokee County Kansas. But first, they need the support of local communities.

"The city of Galena has been a close Ali 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 Quapaw tribe has been in talks with Governor Brownback's office discussing a possible tribal-state gaming compact.

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

Some Cherokee County officials are hesitant to give their support until they hear more details.

"Potentially it could increase employment and revenue to the county, and the two cities, and the school district involved if the tribe's proposed compact is approved. We have yet to see the terms of the compact other than their statements as to its general outline." says Cure.

"If we're going to make a decision, or an endorsement that could impact anything going on out in Topeka, which could impact things that go on here, It's only fair that we have a fair amount of information." Oglesby says.

The outline includes a plan for 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 results from that to move forward.

Officials from Downstream plan to speak with us about the potential expansion after returning from a conference next week. The city of Baxter Springs has also supported the idea of gaming in Cherokee County.

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