indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Okla. tribe under investigation for casino
Thursday, August 14, 2003

Federal regulators have launched an investigation to determine whether the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma is operating a casino in violation of federal law.

In an August 8 letter, Quapaw chairman John Berrey was told to turn over a wide-ranging set of documents. Tim Harper, a regional director for the National Indian Gaming Commission, provided a 25-item list that includes casino agreements, financial statements, tax filings, bank statements and internal memos.

NIGC "is conducting an inquiry into the management of the Quapaw Casino concerning the possible management of the casino without an approved contract," Harper's letter stated.

It is a violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to operate a casino without federal approval. Tribes who use the services of a management company must submit a management contract to the NIGC for review.

According to Berrey, the tribe has been waiting for the NIGC to approve its management contract. "We first submitted one two years ago and we were asked to make changes," he said in an interview before the NIGC investigation was announced. "They have had [the changes] since last March."

What Berry described is not unusual -- it can take 18 to 24 months for NIGC to complete its review. The lengthy wait is one reason tribes turn to third parties to operate casinos under a consulting agreement, which NIGC does not have the authority to review.

But concerns about the Quapaw Tribe's choice of management company, Right Source Marketing of Arizona, prompted the federal investigation. The concerns are centered around how much money Right Source, which is owned by Marc Dunn, is receiving; whether casino managers are qualified to run the casino; and whether the tribe is following NIGC procedures and policies.

Earlier this summer, tribal gaming officials started their own internal audit of the casino after learning, through a preliminary review, that Dunn's company was paid $4.5 million from October 2001 through September 2002 while the tribe only received $2.5 million.

The results of the preliminary review could not be independently verified but were performed by a certified public accountant retained the tribe's gaming board.

Soon after the gaming board announced it would proceed with the audit, Berrey fired the board's head, Kugee Supernaw. A July 10 letter gave no reason for the termination and in an interview, Berrey would not explain his actions, saying it was a personnel issue.

However, he discounted the suggestion that the firing was motivated by the scrutiny the casino is facing. "I'm welcome to see any audits," he said. "I don't have any problem with that."

Dunn's company runs a casino owned by the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, whose management contract does not appear on NIGC's approved list. That casino's general manager, Rick Smith, used to run the Quapaw casino before unexpectedly resigning earlier this summer.

One tribal source said Smith left after being told by the gaming board that he would have to submit to a criminal background check that is required by federal law. NIGC is asking for Smith's letter of resignation as part of the investigation.

NIGC is also demanding documentation of payments made to all casino vendors, one of which is Right Source. According to the preliminary review, Dunn's company is not only being paid to manage the casino but is also being paid for supplying casino machines to the tribe. As a vendor, Dunn's company appears to take a cut of each Class II machine that is in play.

NIGC plans to review a wide set of internal tribal documents as well. The tribe makes video and audio recordings of its general council meetings where casino business was openly discussed. It is at these meetings that tribal members who are political opponents of Berrey have questioned Dunn's management.

The Quapaw Tribe doesn't have a large gaming operation compared to others in Oklahoma. But it has provided seed money for tribal programs and has enabled the tribe to provide funding to local communities.

The Quapaw Tribe also has not experienced some of the problems others in the state have faced over the classification of casino machines, although the Quapaw and Seneca-Cayuga casinos did stop offering a type of blackjack game for a period of time in response to an NIGC order.

Relevant Documents:
NIGC Letter to Quapaw Chairman John Berrey (August 8, 2003)

Relevant Links:
National Indian Gaming Commission - http://www.nigc.gov

Related Stories:
NIGC's Hogen warns Okla. tribes on games (5/19)
NIGC asks for greater authority over industry (5/15)
Chickasaw Nation 'followed the law' (6/28)
Tribes defy federal casino order (6/17)

Copyright � 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...

Latest Headlines:

The Conversation: The toxic legacy of uranium mining in United States
Failed Indian Health Service nominee lashes out after being abandoned
Winnebago Tribe sees boost in home ownership as more return to rez
YES! Magazine: Promoting reparations for Indigenous & Black farmers
Cronkite News: Students stage walkout to call for reform of gun laws
Tribes take Wind River Reservation boundary case to Supreme Court
Northern Cheyenne Tribe returns ousted leader to office with new vote
Peoria Tribe prepares for election as long-time leader faces challenge
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe waits for Trump team's decision on casino
Nominee for Indian Health Service drops out amid doubts about record
Tribes see continued challenges as more cases head to highest court
Supreme Court ends conservative attack on Indian Child Welfare Act
Washoe Tribe plans to expand offerings at casino with new compact
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation makes strides in health care system
Graham Lee Brewer: Native man's death opens old wounds in Canada
YES! Magazine: Let's learn from states where gun violence has fallen
Former Lummi Nation chairman Larry Kinley passes on at age of 71
Oglala Sioux Tribe eyes investigation into misuse of education funds
Most 'isolated' towns are near reservations in Montana and Nevada
Top Indian positions in Trump administration remain without leaders
Agency that targeted tribal lenders in line for even more big changes
Osage Nation citizen wins vote as mayor of Oklahoma's largest city
Standing Rock Sioux citizen lands Native history position at Harvard
Indictment cites 'wokeaztec' account in Russian influence campaign
Matika Wilbur: A modern world doesn't erase indigenous intelligence
Cronkite News: Students plan national walkout in bid for gun reform
Kevin Noble Maillard: I took 7th grade students to see 'Black Panther'
Chumash Tribe security officers involved in fatal shooting at casino
Yavapai-Apache Nation finally ready to open 122-room casino hotel
Maine lawmaker seeks court ruling to help tribes with casino plans
Mark Trahant: Another Native woman aims to make history in 2018
Sylvia Chi: Indigenous activists lead energy divestment movement
Mark Maxey: A fight for indigenous rights and environmental rights
Tribes battle state of South Dakota over removal of Indian children
National Congress of American Indians leader slams 'fugitives' bill
Trump budget includes funds to assist six newly-recognized tribes
National Congress of American Indians wraps up big winter session
Cronkite News: Lawmakers question management of Indian schools
Trump administration continues to back Indian Health Service pick
Lac du Flambeau Band ties recent murder to gangs and drug dealers
Bill affirms Alabama-Coushatta Tribe and Tigua Tribe gaming rights
San Pasqual Band hears concerns about digital billboard at casino
Tribal leaders cheer surprise speaker as meeting in D.C. winds down
Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the National Congress of American Indians
Indian Health Service budget promises funding for opioid epidemic
National Congress of American Indians kicks off big winter session
Tribes looking for more support to pass controversial sovereignty bill
Trump administration includes Indian schools in infrastructure plan
Witnesses for Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on Census
Mark Trahant: White House sends messages with its new budget
Cronkite News: Tribes call for respect for their sovereignty in D.C.
National Congress of American Indians: State of Indian Nations
Sen. Tom Udall delivers response to the State of Indian Nations
>>> more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.