Residents worried about potential Class II facility on Indian allotment in Oklahoma

A vehicle is seen leaving an Indian allotment near Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The house pictured here would be used as administrative offices for the proposed Red Creek Dance Hall and Restaurant. Image from Google Maps Residents of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, are concerned about a possible gaming development on an Indian allotment.

According to city documents, Steve Bruner plans to open the Red Creek Dance Hall and Restaurant on his allotment. He hasn't ruled out the inclusion of Class II machines at the site and that has residents worried.

“We are not opposed to a restaurant and sports bar. It’s a fantastic idea,” Jared Cawley said at a city council meeting on Tuesday night, The Broken Arrow Ledger reported. “We will help the business grow, if it is not turned into a casino."

Bruner's property is not far from another allotment where the Kialegee Tribal Town started building a casino back in 2012. Local outrage led to a major lawsuit and, even though the tribe eventually won the case, it abandoned the project amid regulatory, financial and other issues.

A map of the proposed Red Creek Dance Hall and Restaurant. Source: Broken Arrow City Council If Bruner indeed pursues Class II gaming, he would appear to face some of those same issues. The main one is whether his allotment qualifies for gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

According to IGRA, only a tribe can conduct gaming and only on lands over which it exercises governmental jurisdiction. The Kialegee Tribal Town failed to meet those conditions for its project, the National Indian Gaming Commission determined.

Bruner is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation. He was not present at the city council meeting, according to news reports.

Muscogee National Council Speaker Lucian Tiger was on the agenda but didn't attend either, Mvskoke Media reported. According to the city attorney, the Muscogee Nation has not "sanctioned" gaming at the site, Mvskoke Media reported.

The Muscogee Nation operates the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, a little over 9 miles from Bruner's allotment.

Read More on the Story:
Opposition remains to possible gaming site in BA, but residents satisfied with city's communication this time (The Tulsa World / The Broken Arrow Ledger 10/19)
Second Broken Arrow gaming project discussed during meeting (Mvskoke Media 10/18)
Citizens get chance to comment about new business on Creek land (The Broken Arrow Ledger 10/18)
Proposed dance hall on tribal land draws concerned citizens worried about potential gaming on site (KJRH 10/18)
Dance hall and restaurant with possible gambling proposed for Broken Arrow tribal land near abandoned casino (The Tulsa World 10/18)

National Indian Gaming Commission Indian Land Opinions:
July 8, 2013 | June 8, 2012 | May 24, 2012

10th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Oklahoma v. Hobia (December 22, 2014)

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