The Comanche Nation
is asking the U.S. Supreme Court
to hear a dispute affecting a rival tribe's gaming facility in Oklahoma.
The tribe contends the Chickasaw Nation
should not have been able to open a new casino on land that was recently placed in trust. A petition asking the justices to accept the case was filed on March 14.
"The Comanche had no choice but to bring this
challenge," the filing states
. "The Chickasaw Nation already has two dozen
casinos bringing in more than a billion dollars a year. It is setting up yet another casino at Terral, Oklahoma, less than 45 miles down river from the Comanche Red River Hotel and Casino at Devol."
The Comanche Nation's pleas have so far fallen on deaf ears. The 10th Circuit Court of
essentially said there was no case last December, after a federal judge refused to block the new casino from opening.
Indianz.Com on Google
Maps: Chickasaw Nation Gaming
The Chickasaw Nation opened the RiverStar Casino
in March 2018. It's located in Terral, just a few miles from the Texas border, a major gaming market that the Comanche Nation also depends on for its Red River Hotel and
"The operation at Devol is the economic lifeline of the Comanche Nation: The sixty million dollars in net annual revenue that flow from the Red River Hotel and Casino – just 6% of the yearly take from Chickasaw’s several dozen operations – is more than 60% of the funds necessary for the Comanche to sustain vital tribal operations and social service programs."
The Bureau of Indian Affairs
approved the land-into-trust application for the casino on the
last full day of the Obama administration in January 2017. Indianz.Com published
from the acquisition
around that time.
But the Trump administration held up the official
notice of the acquisition
until July 2017. That didn't stop the Chickasaws
from breaking ground on the project before securing formal approval for the casino.
Generally, the Indian
Gaming Regulatory Act
bars casinos on land placed in trust after 1988. But an exception in Section 20 of the law allows gaming on properties located within the boundaries a former reservation in Oklahoma.
According to the BIA, the site in Terral qualifies for such an exception. The Comanches, however, contend the Chickasaws never exercised jurisdiction over the land as required by IGRA.
"The latest acquisition for the benefit of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma - a tribe already operating
approximately two dozen post 1988 gaming operations to the tune of a billion dollars annually - is an existential threat to the economic lifeline of the Comanche Nation, the Red River Hotel and Casino at Devol, Oklahoma," the petition states.
The Chickasaw Nation operates nearly two dozens
, more than any other tribe in Oklahoma and more than any other tribe
in the United States.
The federal government's response is due May 2, according to Docket No. 18-1261
10th Circuit Court of Appeals DecisionComanche
Nation v. Zinke
(December 14, 2018)
Federal Register NoticesLand
Acquisitions; The Chickasaw Nation [Terral Site]
(July 18, 2017)Land
Acquisitions; The Chickasaw Nation [Willis Site]
(July 18, 2017)
Join the Conversation
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