Land Acquisitions

Quapaw Tribe blames non-Indian track for opposition in Arkansas


Oaklawn Racing & Gaming is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Photo from Facebook

The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma is blaming a non-Indian gaming facility for hindering its land-into-trust efforts in Arkansas.

The tribe filed a land-into-trust application for 160 acres of a former reservation near Little Rock. Chairman John Berrey has repeatedly disavowed plans to open a casino but local officials remain skeptical.

Berrey now believes Oaklawn Racing & Gaming is behind the opposition. He said the racetrack submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the National Indian Gaming Commission asking about a land-into-trust controversy in neighboring Kansas.

"Oaklawn has poisoned our relationship with the port board," Berrey told KATV, referring to a failed effort to negotiate a land-into-trust agreement with the Port of Little Rock.

The Kansas controversy also centers on property that was acquired within a former reservation. The tribe went through the land-into-trust process but did not state that the land would be used for gaming.

The tribe is now planning to expand the Downstream Casino Resort onto the Kansas land. Some believe the tribe could do the same in Arkansas even though Berrey has offered to sign a no-gaming agreement.

The Oaklawn facility, which offers numerous forms of gaming in addition to horse races, is located in Hot Springs, about 60 miles from the Port of Little Rock.

Get the Story:
Quapaw Tribe says Oaklawn is behind push-back to tribe's federal trust status application (KATV 3/3)

Relevant Documents:
NIGC Indian Land Opinion For Site in Kansas (November 2014)

Related Stories:
Quapaw Tribe concedes loss in casino compact lawsuit in Kansas (03/02)
Quapaw Tribe seeks to acquire more ancestral land in Arkansas (02/18)
Quapaw Tribe hits snag in agreement for ancestral Arkansas land (01/21)
Quapaw Tribe works on agreement for ancestral Arkansas land (11/10)
Quapaw Tribe still vows no casino on ancestral land in Arkansas (11/3)
Quapaw Tribe still willing to sign no-casino pledge in Arkansas (08/31)
Quapaw Tribe willing to sign agreement barring Arkansas casino (07/13)
Quapaw Tribe sees more opposition to Arkansas land-into-trust (7/10)
Quapaw Tribe blames non-Indian track in Arkansas for opposition (06/08)
Quapaw Tribe looks to dispel concerns about casino in Arkansas (05/27)