The Osage Nation owns and operates a gaming facility in Skiatook, Oklahoma. Photo: Steve Songer
Casino Stalker

Osage Nation sees support and opposition to casino in Missouri



The Osage Nation is facing both support and opposition to a proposed casino on ancestral territory in Missouri.

A location in Cuba, a community about 90 minutes outside of St. Louis, is reportedly under consideration. A local lawmaker told The Missouri Times that he would welcome a casino there.

“I think it will provide an opportunity to bring more revenue into a county that really needs it,” Rep. Jason Chipman (R) told The Times. “Overall, it would be a benefit for Crawford County, Cuba, the state and the Osage.”

But the Missouri Baptist Convention will oppose it, advisor Don Hinkle told the paper. The state is already home to 13 gaming facilities, though none are in the vicinity of Cuba.

“We’ll fight it tooth and nail because it’s bad stuff,” Hinkle told the times. “A new casino coming to Missouri would be a bad and destructive thing.”

The tribe once had a reservation in Missouri but would need to acquire trust lands in order to establish a casino there. The land-into-trust process typically takes years to complete.

The tribe also would need to negotiate a Class III gaming compact with the governor if it intends to offer slot machines, blackjack, poker and related games. The state has never entered into such an agreement.

Generally, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act bars casinos on land acquired after 1988. But Section 20 of the law contains an exception for land within a tribe's "last recognized reservation."

In the history of IGRA, the Quapaw Tribe appears to be the only one to have secured this particular exception. In that case, the land was within a former reservation in Kansas.

After living in Missouri, the Osage Nation was forced to move to Kansas and later to present-day Oklahoma. The tribe operates seven gaming facilities in northeastern Oklahoma.

Read More on the Story:
Osage Nation’s efforts for a casino already has opposition (The Missouri Times 6/6)

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Osage Nation gave $52K to Missouri governor amid gaming push (June 5, 2017)