U-S Justice Department response to proposed Ponca Casino

The U-S Justice Department says Nebraska has no legal ground to stand on in its opposition to a proposed casino in Carter Lake, Iowa.  Attorney General Jon Bruning is challenging a federal ruling that allows for the Ponca Tribe to build on land they own in Carter Lake.  Pat Loontjer is a spokesperson for Gambling with the Good Life and says now the fight begins.  Loontjer says six months ago, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning filed a suit asking for the repeal of the Ponca Casino. 

Loontjer says they fully expected that decision by the feds but this is just a recommendation, not a final ruling.   She says now the ball is back in Nebraska’s court.  Bruning can now respond to the reaction of the U-S Justice Department.  She maintains that a judge has not yet seen this case and now they can move forward. 

The opposition comes as Carter Lake is technically surrounded by Nebraska land and anyone going to the casino would have to travel through Omaha to get there.  Gambling is banned in Nebraska.  The U-S Justice Department stated that Nebraska has no jurisdiction as this casino would be technically out of state and that the National Indian Gaming Commission has given its ok to proceed.  Nebraska claims the tribe deceived the government as they stated that the five acres of land would only be used as a health care facility and later announced plans for a casino on that property.