Rendering of the new Prairie Flower Casino
Published August 14, 2019
After over a decade of failed lawsuits seeking to prevent the Tribe from building on their sovereign land, Tribe leaders say it’s time to move past lawsuits and toward dialogue on community-focused growth
CARTER LAKE, Iowa — On Monday, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Iowa Stephanie M. Rose once again issued a ruling in favor of the Prairie Flower Casino and Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. This is the second District Court ruling in the Tribe’s favor this year and comes after the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) ruled in favor of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska for a third time in early May 2019.
After more than a decade of failed legal challenges, leaders of Ponca Tribe of Nebraska leaders are calling for the end of additional legal action.
Following the court’s ruling, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Chairman Larry Wright, Jr. issued the following statement:
“For well over a decade, the plaintiffs have challenged our Tribe’s right to build a casino on our sovereign land. While we disagree with the plaintiffs’ legal arguments, and the motive for their legal challenge, we respected their right to have their case heard before the court. Now, we respectfully ask the plaintiffs to end their legal crusade against our Tribe, respect the District Court’s ruling – the second such ruling in 2019 alone – and our right to build a casino and conduct gaming on our sovereign land in Carter Lake.
“Since opening in November 2018, the Prairie Flower Casino has boosted the local economy, created jobs, brought visitors to the Carter Lake region and, thus far, voluntarily contributed $775,000 to Carter Lake to support police and fire departments, infrastructure and general city improvements. We believe in giving back to the community where we live and work.
“With cooperation and input from the greater community, we know even more can be done to lift the region. For example, we plan to use proceeds from gaming to fund the building of a health care clinic near Ralston, which will serve Tribal members and the general public.
“It’s time to put the lawsuits behind us and focus on our shared interest of bringing more economic growth the area.”