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Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Tribe loses another decision on casino in K.C.K.

March 31, 2004

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— A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a temporary restraining order sought by the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma for its casino in downtown Kansas City, Kan.

The tribe had sought a restraining order after the National Indian Gaming Commission ruled last week that the casino was illegal.

The tribe said it was talking to its attorneys Tuesday and would not comment on the status of the casino.

Kansas Atty. Gen. Phil Kline had given the tribe until today to close the casino at a former Masonic building next to a tribal cemetery and across the street from City Hall.

He said in a statement that his office was taking a "reasoned and measured approach to the enforcement of applicable laws."

"The Wyandotte Tribe still has a right to approach the governor about negotiating gaming rights in Kansas, but to unilaterally initiate gaming in Kansas is in violation of state law and the law will be enforced," Kline said.

For nearly eight years, the tribe has been seeking legitimacy through the courts for a casino in Wyandotte County. It has sued local landowners, including General Motors, claiming historic land rights to nearly 2,000 acres of mostly developed and privately owned land. Tribal officials have characterized the land claim as a bargaining chip they were willing to trade for the right to operate a casino in the city.

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