U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell recently ruled the Kialegee Tribal Town, attempting to build the Red Clay Casino in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, cannot claim sovereign immunity to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office. In its lawsuit, the state argued the tribe does not have the approvals required from federal agencies to open a casino.
Frizzell said the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows states or tribes to file lawsuits in federal court over Class III activities on Indian lands; the Kialegees have a Class III gaming compact with the state of Oklahoma. Therefore, the tribe must answer to the state’s lawsuit.
Additionally, Frizzell noted that Congress had abolished “tribal immunity from suits involving gaming activities.”
Construction is continuing on the casino, which the tribe plans to open this summer. It’s located on land owned by two sisters who are members of the Muscogee Creek Nation, who are subleasing to the casino developers, Florence Development Partners. The tribe began bulldozing the land last year and brought in several pre-fabricated buildings to be used as a temporary casino until construction is completed.