Red Clay Casino one step closer to setting up gaming

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - The Kialegee Tribe is one step closer to making a profit off of Broken Arrow residents.

Thursday the tribe began setting up their Red Clay Casino by moving in two mobile buildings.

Four more will arrive by the weekend.

This might look like a major accomplishment for the Kialegee Tribe, but their boss is saying not so fast.

As modular buildings are backed up and laid out onto cement slabs, the action initially feels like a major defeat for Broken Arrow resident Jared Cowley.

"We've gone door to door asking folks to sign our petition. To my knowledge we've had only one or two people say they didn't want to sign," he said.

Cowley is one of the leaders in the Broken Arrow Citizens Against Neighborhood Gaming. His home is also within walking distance of the site.

Just minutes after he watches the installation of the units where gaming will occur, he himself strikes a jackpot in the fight against the Red Clay Casino.

For the first time, The Bureau of Indian Affairs speaks out.

In a letter sent to the land owners, the bureau says all requirements have not been meet and that approval to lease the land is necessary.

"We have just as much jurisdiction right to that property as any other tribal town," said Vicki Sousa, one of Kialegee lawyers. 

2News sat down with her a few weeks ago. Sousa said they don't need a lease.

"The lease they're talking about is not the lease we're proceeding under. It's under 7 years and doesn't require BIA approval."

The BIA wants answers as to why the Kialegees feel an approval is not required by Feb. 24.

For now, Cowley says, "it's a victory in an ongoing battle. We certainly wish the tribe would start following the law. The thing about mobile homes, if they can be moved on, they can be moved off. That's what we expect to happen."

Congressman Sullivan issued a statement today saying he would like to applaud the BIA but is cautiously optimistic that this development will be stopped.

He says this fight is not over.

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