COLUMBUS, KS - Cherokee County commissioners will file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior to block the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma from opening their new casino this summer. The Downstream Casino Resort is scheduled to open July 4th. The hotel will open three months later.
This $200 million construction project is underway on 80 acres where Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas meet, just off exit 1 from Interstate 44. The casino and hotel will be in Oklahoma, but the parking lot will be in Kansas. Cherokee County claims the parking lot should not be exempt from environmental laws. The Interior Department approved the casino stating an environmental impact assessment was not required under the Indian Land Consolidation Act.
The true reason for the lawsuit may be to delay the casino until Penn National Gaming Inc. builds its casino in southeast Cherokee County. That casino is still pending state approval. Penn National Gaming Inc. is paying the legal expenses for Cherokee County to file the lawsuit including the attorney fees of David Cooper.
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