The Prairie Flower Casino will stay open following the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) ruling. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska has been in a legal battle with Iowa and Nebraska for the right to keep the casino open. The NIGC ruled in favour of the Ponca Tribe to keep the casino open on the Carter Lake land in Iowa.
The Prairie Flower was opened in November 2018 with 200 slots machines. The $10 million casino received its casino license from the Federal Commission in 2017. However, the states of Iowa and Nebraska sued the Ponca Tribe to try to get the casino shut down.
The state of Iowa argued that the new gambling venue would funnel gambling tax profits from the existing casinos. While the state of Nebraska feared that the gaming house would attract crime to Omaha. The two states further stated that the Ponca Tribe misrepresented its initial intentions to open a health centre on the land.
Opponents seek US Department Intervention
The attorneys of Iowa and Nebraska, General Doug Peterson, told the media that the NIGC came to this ruling without the opinion of the involved parties. Peterson further noted that the commission should not have disregarded the tribe’s first intention to open a health care centre. The attorney has requested for the US Department of Interior to review the commission’s decision as well as its governance. Peterson is confident that the federal judiciary will eventually decide the issue.
The Ponca Tribe attorney, James Meggesto, commented to the media that there should be no other argument following the commission’s decision to keep Prairie Flower Casino open. The Prairie Flower is different from other tribal casinos because it was not built on reservation land. The attorney representing Council Bluffs, Dick Wade, told the media that they are planning to continue with the lawsuit to shut down the casino.