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For immediate release – Saturday, November 29, 2008.
Contact Bob Brammer – 515-281-6699

Federal Court Reverses National Indian Gaming Commission on Ponca Tribe Parcel in Carter Lake

Statement of the Iowa Attorney General's Office re Judge Charles Wolle decision 11-28-08 concerning National Indian Gaming Commission Decision:

We are very pleased with the Federal Court ruling.

We challenged the National Indian Gaming Commission's decision last December approving the gaming ordinance submitted by the Ponca Tribe [12-31-07]. Our complaint emphasized that the Tribe had previously noted publicly and in writing that the five-acre Carter Lake parcel of land did not qualify as gaming-eligible "restored lands" under federal law. Rather, the Tribe had stated that it intended to use the parcel for a health clinic and other tribal services, but never for a casino.

We argued that the Commission exceeded its authority and erred in deciding that the Carter Lake parcel qualifies as "restored lands" eligible for gaming. We are very pleased that the Court has ruled the Commission lacked authority to approve the Ponca Tribe's gaming ordinance, and that the Commission was wrong in holding that the Tribe was not bound by its agreement with Iowa to have no gaming on its Carter Lake site.

Go to Federal Court decision issued 11-28-08 by U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Wolle.
Go to 8-22-08 statement of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Iowa Gov. Chet Culver about the State of Iowa challenging NIGC Ponca decision, including link to the Complaint