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Ponca Tribe's Grand Plans for Carter lake casino

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August 11, 2008

NEBRASKA – As reported by the Omaha World-Herald: "The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska is making grand plans for a proposed casino and hotel in Carter Lake, but it must clear formidable legal and financial hurdles before it can open a fourth casino in Omaha's backyard.

"The tribe's casino would be as large and luxurious as the three in Council Bluffs, not 'another large metal box' — the stereotypical image of many Indian-run casinos in the Great Plains — said Tribal Chairman Larry Wright.

"Conceivably, the casino also could generate new money for Iowa. Wright said Ponca leaders have offered to pay a portion of gambling revenues to the state, even though its casino legally would be exempt from such taxes.

"…But there are numerous questions about whether the Poncas will ever get into the gambling game.

"The attorneys general of Nebraska and Iowa are preparing to go to court, calling the casino proposal a deceitful move by the Poncas.

"The tribe's 2,500 members also must buy more land, secure financial backing, calm uneasy Carter Lake neighbors and find a way to skillfully manage the casino in an already crowded and recently stagnant gambling market…"

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