For more than a decade, the Ponca Tribe has been fighting with lawmakers in Iowa and Nebraska over the rights to operate a casino in western Iowa. The state governments claim that the tribe is running the Prairie Flower Casino illegally. This week, a US District Judge rejected the motions filed by the two states.
It’s a major win for this Nebraska-based tribe. Today, we’re going to look at why the states and Ponca tribe are fighting. We’ll also talk about what the recent legal victory means for the tribe and their popular casino. Let’s get started!
Iowa and Nebraska Continue Fight With Ponca Tribe
As we just mentioned, this dispute has been brewing for more than a decade. Years ago, the Ponca tribe purchased land in Carter Lake in western Iowa. Initially, the tribe claimed that they intended to build a health center on the land. Later on, the tribe formally requested federal permission to open a casino here.
Council members and state officials were quick to push back. The land is technically situated in Iowa, on the western side of the Missouri River. Flooding in the 1800s caused the river to shift course, pushing carter lake land on the Nebraska side of the river. Politicians in both states are against a casino in their territory.
Lawmakers in Iowa feel that the casino will take valuable tax revenue from the state as it heads into Nebraska. State officials in Nebraska fear that a gambling venue in Carter Lake will draw crime into nearby Omaha. As a result, both have been pursuing legal action against the casino.
This hasn’t deterred the Ponca Tribe. The Prairie Flower Casino was opened in 2017 after receiving a federal commission-approved casino license. It’s grown to become one of the most popular gambling venues in the Iowa-Nebraska area.
Ponca Tribe Receives Permission to Continue Operating Prairie Flower Casino
On Monday, US District Judge Stephanie Rose rejected the motions set by lawmakers in Iowa and Nebraska to shut down the casino. The state’s hoped to see another review of the May decision to allow this casino to operate. That month, the National Indian Gaming Commission concluded that the casino sites on restored tribal land, which makes a casino legal.
Forcing this casino to close would cut off a major revenue stream for the Ponca Tribe. It would also result in the elimination of hundreds of jobs for local employees working in the casino. Judge Stephanie Rose gave her explanation for the decision to allow this casino on Monday.
“Plaintiffs admit this would have had a negative economic impact on the Tribe,” she said. “Other courts have declined to vacate agency decisions when doing so would have adverse economic consequences. It is not clear, however, how the Tribe’s casino is any more detrimental than the three casinos, licensed by the state of Iowa, that are already operating in neighboring Council Bluffs.”
This certainly makes sense. Three other casinos currently operate in Iowa. Rose seems to have concluded that the state’s push to derail the casino was based only on money. We’ll need to wait and see whether or not lawmakers in Iowa and Nebraska decide to continue their legal battle.
Online Gambling Grows in Iowa and Nebraska
Land-based casino gambling is extremely popular in both Iowa and Nebraska. Unfortunately, many of these gaming venues are located hours away from many locals here. For this reason, more people are choosing to make their bets over the internet.
Today, there are a huge range of great US casino websites available in both of these states. Most of the sites here allow their players to make bets on all popular casino games including blackjack, Texas Hold’em, and slot games. The best sites will also offer a range of safe payment options.
These sites allow you to play casino games from anywhere with an internet connection. Most are available using a mobile device as well. There’s no more convenient way to play your favorite casino games today.
For now, the Ponca Tribe has permission to keep operating the Prairie Flower Casino. Hope is that now, lawmakers in Iowa and Nebraska will stop pushing to close this gambling establishment down. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on this situation over the next few months!