indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 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...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Agency weighs uranium mine near sacred site (9/30)
Jim Abourezk: South Dakota tribes can put Rick Weiland in office (9/30)
Editorial: Long delayed trust fund settlement for Navajo Nation (9/30)
North Dakota tribe sees big problems as energy industry grows (9/30)
Tim Giago: All Indian people ask is for America to honor treaties (9/29)
Native Sun News: Tribes take on IRS and win battle over taxation (9/29)
Mark Trahant: Indian vote could bring a surprise in South Dakota (9/29)
Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act signed into law by Obama (9/29)
Obama signs law for settlement with Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (9/29)
Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross: Transforming the spirit of suicide (9/29)
Migizi Pensoneau: Behind the scenes at a Washington NFL game (9/29)
Donna Ennis: Ancestor starting asking about trust fund in 1900s (9/29)
Steven Newcomb: Indigenous conference yields power to states (9/29)
Kyle Mays: Rejecting narrowminded views of indigenous studies (9/29)
Brian Pierson: Tribal preference ruling strengthens sovereignty (9/29)
Thousands missing out on share of Cobell settlement payments (9/29)
Navajo presidential candidate in doubt over fluency in language (9/29)
Oneida Nation repeats history with women in top leadership jobs (9/29)
Al Jazeera: Tribes working together to restore bison to their land (9/29)
Indian Time: Oklahoma Indian museum expected to be big draw (9/29)
Column: Washington team should be worried about FCC petition (9/29)
Opinion: NMAI exhibit finally puts federal-tribal dealings to light (9/29)
Gun Lake Tribe hails new law that protects casino from litigation (9/29)
Former mayor remains hopeful on Los Coyotes Band casino bid (9/29)
Chumash Tribe awards $112M contract as part of casino project (9/29)
Documents show Seminole Tribe was close to new gaming deal (9/29)
Column: Taking a gamble in Louisiana - What's legal and illegal? (9/29)
Native Sun News: Tex Hall ousted in North Dakota tribal primary (9/26)
Kevin Washburn: Settlements with Indian Country hit $8B mark (9/26)
Bryan Brewer: Congress does right thing with tribal taxation bill (9/26)
9th Circuit rebuffs EEOC in dispute over tribal hiring preferences (9/26)
9th Circuit rejects treaty claims of Indian tobacco manufacturer (9/26)
Montana tribe expects a second round of Cobell buy-back offers (9/26)
Attorney General Eric Holder to step down after six-year tenure (9/26)
Choctaw Nation arrests 10 people in prostitution sting at casino (9/26)
Samish Nation isn't interested in pursuing casino on allotment (9/26)
Opponents sue to put Tohono O'odham Nation casino on ballot (9/26)
Rival tribes raise $4M to block North Fork Rancheria casino bid (9/26)
Nottawaseppi Huron Band reopens casino after electrical work (9/26)
Travel: There's more than gaming at Eastern Cherokee casino (9/26)
Native Sun News: School district outlaws debate on honor song (9/25)
Native Sun News: Billy Mills marks 50th birthday of Olympic win (9/25)
Cherokee Nation hires former White House advisor Kim Teehee (9/25)
Chelsey Luger: Washington NFL team doesn't own our identity (9/25)
Tommy Jones: Removing barriers for tribal renewable energy (9/25)
Navajo Nation to host meetings to discuss $554M settlement (9/25)
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.