Gaming machines in the "Margaritaville" portion of the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo: MargaritavilleTulsa

Muscogee Nation asserts authority at allotment where casino was proposed

The Muscogee Nation is warning one of its citizens not to engage in gaming on his allotment in Oklahoma.

Tribal officials believe landowner Steve Bruner is trying to install gaming machines and other equipment associated with a casino, The Tulsa World reported. Doing so would violate tribal and federal laws, they asserted in a letter quoted by the paper.

“These actions indicate that the conduct of gaming at the facility is much closer to being an impending reality than a mere possibility,” the letter stated, the paper reported.

Bruner did try to host a gaming facility on his property in partnership with the Kialegee Tribal Town. Plans were derailed when the state of Oklahoma filed suit in federal court, although the state eventually lost the case.

But the National Indian Gaming Commission also said the Kialegee Tribal Town lacked jurisdiction at the site. In a July 2013 opinion, the federal agency said the allotment instead falls under Muscogee Nation jurisdiction.

The Muscogees, however, aren't inclined to approve gaming on Bruner's land because doing so would apparently violate an agreement with a bank. The agreement bars the tribe from opening another gaming facility within a 50-mile radius of the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa. Bruner's allotment is only about 11 miles away.

With gaming seemingly off the table for now, Bruner is opening a restaurant on his land. The Embers Grill is set to debut on August 1, The World reported.

Read More on the Story:
Muscogee (Creek) Nation warns Red Creek officials of repercussions of 'unlicensed' gaming; officials deny wrongdoing (The Tulsa World 6/18)

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)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Restaurant set to open on site of failed Kialegee Tribal Town casino (June 12, 2017)