Business partner backs out of SE Kansas casino deal

Poker Rooms Decline
Casino (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

PITTSBURG, Kansas – The Quapaw Tribe’s Downstream Casino Resort, of Oklahoma, withdrew from a partnership in a Kansas state-owned casino proposal citing a hostile and adversarial environment created when the Kansas attorney general filed a federal lawsuit to halt a separate plan by the Tribe to expand its existing casino.

“The state of Kansas has shown us what they think of us,” said Quapaw Chairman John Berrey. “So in order to help our partner in the Emerald City Casino proposal, Mr. Phil Ruffin, we felt it would be best if we were no longer involved. We will instead focus our energy on expanding Downstream Casino Resort across the Kansas state line where we have every right to engage in fair competition with the other casinos of the region.”

In December, the National Indian Gaming Commission issued an opinion granting the Quapaw Tribe the legal right to operate a casino on its federal trust land in Cherokee County Kansas. It was after that opinion and after the Tribe partnered in the Kansas casino proposal known as Emerald City, that the Cherokee County Commission and Kansas attorney general decided to sue the NIGC to stop the Downstream expansion.

“Bringing this litigation was not only a mean thing to do, and wrong on its face, but it seeks to cheat the citizens of southeast Kansas out of additional revenue that they deserve,” Berrey said. “We intend to fight for our rights and for the Cherokee County Kansas citizens’ best interests.”

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