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Prairie Flower Casino Welcomes First Patrons, Tribe Anticipates More Litigation

Iowa’s brand new casino venue has been a topic of wide discussion due to the rather scandalous and controversial circumstances around its license acquisition. Prairie Flower Casino overseen by the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska was quick to launch operation even though two states are working against its operation in the foreseeable future.

This Thursday was a notable one for the state of Iowa as the official launch of operation at the Carter Lake venue was set to take place. It is situated in an area which enjoys a considerable traffic since Avenue H and Abbott Drive is in the vicinity of the airport. Casino patrons from near and far will be able to make their way to the brand new tribal casino facility which welcomed its first guests with lavish ceremony reaching some 150 individuals curious to be the first one to see the venue.

Launch of Operation Attracts a Crowd

Several officials among who Larry Wright Jr., Ponca Tribe of Nebraska’s Chairman, gave speeches during the opening ceremony, expressing their gratitude towards the community, as well as for the chance to operate their own casino venue which will further improve the financial state of the Native American tribe. Various tribal initiatives are projected to be boosted by the operation of the gaming facility.

Start of operation on site is an important moment for the Indian tribe coming after many years spent without its previous federally recognized tribal status. Now the facility is finally fully operational and featuring some of the premium gaming titles to the liking of Electric Diamond, Coyote Queen, and Miss Kitty Gold. A total of 200 slot-like devices will aim to meet casino patrons’ high expectations when it comes to entertainment offerings. It has been confirmed now that the venue will work around the clock, providing them with the chance to give their luck a try at all times.

The new facility will provide work positions for as many as 100 people аcross some 9,500 square feet for the time being, as there is the possibility of operation expansion in the future. Ponca Tribe itself has already appointed 20 of its members to oversee operation on site. It should be taken into account that the new gaming facility is relatively smaller than the remaining venues in the region of Council Bluffs, to the liking of Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Ameristar Casino, and Horseshoe Casino.

Upcoming Weeks to See Lawsuit Development

During the opening ceremony, Ponca Tribe’s officials dedicated some time to the act of gift giving and granted the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe with traditional Native American blankets. What should be pointed is that the Minnesota tribe was the fellow tribe which provided its support for the land acquisition process, which has been the apple of discord ever since.

A $1-million grant was offered to Ponca tribe in order to purchase the land for casino construction in Carter Lake back in 1999. In addition to that, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe offered a loan reaching $10 million backing the development of this and other tribal plans. The months leading up to this point were more than heated, as both the states of Iowa and Nebraska together with the county seat of Pottawattamie County have filed a lawsuit against the Native American tribe.

This happened after the last days of 2017 saw the National Indian Gaming Commission give its nod approving the tribal plans. Ponca Tribe has subjected to a long-winded legal battle, as Prairie Flower Casino is constructed on a purchased land lot outside and pretty distant from the tribal reservation.

Said lands belonging to the tribe are located in Knox and Boyd Counties which is about 185 miles away from Carter Lake. Now that the operation has commenced officially, opponents are expected to work even harder on closing the facility. Upcoming weeks will see more litigation having the potential to impact future operation on site.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.