Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Panel Orders Tribe to Shut Down Casino

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Panel Orders Tribe to Shut Down Casino

Article excerpt

PONCA CITY (AP) -- The National Indian Gaming Commission has determined that the Ponca Tribe is not operating its casino properly and has ordered that it be shut down.

"The tribe has utterly failed to exercise adequate governmental control over its gaming operation," commission attorney Kevin K. Washburn said in a letter to the tribe.

Blue Star Gaming and Casino, five miles south of Ponca City, is the only source of revenue for the tribe.

The letter states that unless the casino closes by Friday, the gaming commission's chairman will be asked to sign a closure order.

Tribe Chairman Bennett Arkeketa said officials are talking with the tribe's attorney and will decide in the next couple of days whether to voluntarily close by the deadline.

Tribal administrators say they are concerned the commission is asking for the casino to be closed before reviewing progress the tribe has made in running the casino.

The letter states the tribe has failed to conduct background checks on casino employees, implement minimum internal control standards and complete an annual audit. …

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