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
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Gathering scheduled in June at site of former BIA insane asylum (4/29)
Native Sun News: Tribal college student overcomes challenges (4/29)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Ancestors are gone but language lives on (4/29)
Mike Rounds: Eliminate 'hateful' and 'paternalistic' federal laws (4/29)
Harlan McKosato: White privilege fuels Donald Trump's fanbase (4/29)
Indian Health Service faulted for lengthy waits for patient care (4/29)
Mescalero Apache woman to compete for Miss United States (4/29)
Environmental Protection Agency pays little to tribes for spill (4/29)
Measure to declare bison as official mammal ready for Obama (4/29)
John Wayne's negative views about tribes resurface in debate (4/29)
Chumash Tribe picks Kenneth Kahn as first new leader in years (4/29)
Mille Lacs Band announces upgrades as casino marks 25 years (4/29)
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe sees warmer reception to casino bid (4/29)
Florida racks up legal bills in gaming fight with Seminole Tribe (4/29)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe sues Indian Health Service over shutdown (4/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee approves eight bills at meeting (4/28)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe to debut justice center (4/28)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne official fired from tribal job (4/28)
Native Sun News: Comments sought on Black Hills mine cleanup (4/28)
Editorial: Native Sun News endorses Hillary Clinton for president (4/28)
Cronkite News: EPA slammed for response to Gold King Mine spill (4/28)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump advisor accuses tribes of terror plot (4/28)
Alex Jacobs: Hillary Clinton must answer to role in Honduras coup (4/28)
Northwest tribes inch closer to reburial of Kennewick Man remains (4/28)
Santee Sioux Tribe hosts task force to address substance abuse (4/28)
Huge crowds flock to New Mexico for annual Gathering of Nations (4/28)
Muckleshoot Tribe to host $50K 'Gold Cup' for Indian relay racing (4/28)
Member of Puyallup Tribe develops 'Teepee' tribal directory app (4/28)
Man in long fight with Shingle Springs Band faces longer sentence (4/28)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe enters gaming agreement with Mohegan Tribe (4/28)
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe sees casino as a path to self-sufficiency (4/28)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe announces another hire at casino (4/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe welcomes rejection of rival casino bid (4/28)
Senate passes measure to include Indian Country in tourism plans (4/27)
Amanda Blackhorse to deliver commencement speech at Haskell (4/27)
Native Sun News: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe aims to stop pipeline (4/27)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge artist gains national recognition (4/27)
Brandon Ecoffey: 'Bull Dawg' represents the Oglala Lakota Nation (4/27)
Mark Trahant: Tribes endorse Native candidates for US Congress (4/27)
John Thune: Tribal citizens suffer with Indian Health Service care (4/27)
Cronkite News: Tribes support more protections at Grand Canyon (4/27)
Gabe Galanda: A moral responsibility to stop tribal disenrollment (4/27)
Vernice Moncooyea Willis: Bernie Sanders deserves our support (4/27)
Jennifer Denetdale: University must stop celebrating genocide (4/27)
Eastern Cherokee group hails Tribal Marijuana Sovereignty Act (4/27)
Leader of Fort Peck Tribes blames baby's death on drug abuse (4/27)
Chippewa Cree Tribe and FBI investigate theft of drugs at clinic (4/27)
Former comptroller of Crow Tribe accused of embezzling $28K (4/27)
Congress set to pass bill to declare bison as national mammal (4/27)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton moving closer to nominations (4/27)
Fond du Lac Band won't confirm plan for site adjacent to casino (4/27)
Graton Rancheria on track to complete $175M casino expansion (4/27)
Pokagon Band to debut casino expansion project by end of year (4/27)
Connecticut tribes delay decision on potential casino until 2017 (4/27)
Oregon Lottery official fired as Lewis and Clark ads come down (4/27)
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.