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Meskwaki to offer poker to gamblers under age 21

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May 19, 2008

TAMA, IA - The Meskwaki Indian tribe plans to offer poker to 18- to 21-year-old gamblers at its Tama casino beginning June 1st, but the under-21 players will be barred from slot machines, blackjack and other games.

Tribal Chairman Adrian Pushetonequa sent a letter to state officials earlier this month about these plans. Pushetonequa's letter explained the poker games will be offered as a "non-house banked game." The casino does not get a cut of the poker pot. Federal law allows Indian tribes to offer bingo and other gambling not included in the gaming compact between the tribe and the state.

The Meskwaki tribe faces competition from new casinos in Waterloo and Riverside. They recently spent $111 million to expand its casino and hotel complex.

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