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Quapaw Withdraws Partnership From Casino Proposal - KOAM TV 7

Quapaw Withdraws Partnership From Casino Proposal

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QUAPAW, OKLAHOMA -  The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, which owns Downstream Casino Resort, announced it's no longer a part of the Emerald City casino proposal in Frontenac, Kansas.

April 15th, the Kansas lottery will still hear 3 casino proposals for Kansas' Southeast Gaming Zone.  

That hasn't changed.  

But the Quapaw Tribe will no longer be one of the presenters.

"We're gonna back out of the license process for Frontenac and Camptown," Quapaw Tribe Chairman John Berrey said. 

Tribe leadership believes it's relationship with the Kansas and Cherokee county governments have deteriorated to the point of hurting  any casino proposal the tribe is a part of.

"We feel like we're being attacked by the county commissioners and the anti-Indian stance against the Quapaw tribe," Berrey said.

The issue centers on the Quapaw Tribe's planned use of a Kansas land trust originally purposed for parking and agriculture.  

"And now they want to put gaming on it," Cherokee Co. Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand said. "And Kansas has gaming laws, and that's bypassing the gaming laws. And that's kind of an unfair advantage."

"We have the right to change our mind and what we want to do," Berrey said.

The Kansas Attorney General has filed a lawsuit, with the support of the Cherokee County Commission, to challenge the National Indian Gaming Commission's decision that the land trust could be used for casino expansion.  

"If we decide we want to game on our land, we're gonna game on our land," Berrey said. "And they have no say in it."

Besides growing business, the proposed expansion by Downstream could weaken 2 casino proposals for Cherokee County which, unlike the Quapaw's Casino, would generate tax revenue for the state and county.

"It might be good for us to expand to defend our backyard against the expanded gaming in Southeast Kansas."

Berrey also said the tribe was not asked to step away from the casino proposal in Frotenac.

He adds there is no set timeline when it comes to Downstream's proposed expansion into Southeast Kansas.
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