Creek committee rejects Broken Arrow casino proposal
BY SUSAN HYLTON World staff writer
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
12/12/12 at 4:07 AM
OKMULGEE — A Muscogee (Creek) Nation committee by a 7-2 vote Tuesday night rejected a proposal for the tribe to take over a controversial Broken Arrow casino project.
Florida developer Luis Figueredo urged the committee to approve the proposal, which would have given the tribe 70 percent of the revenues from 475 gaming machines at the yet-to-be-completed Red Clay Casino.
His proposal predicted that a casino in Broken Arrow would not have a great impact on the tribe’s River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, which is preparing to expand with a second phase and a new hotel.
But Pat Crofts, CEO of Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos, told the committee that another casino would have a significant impact on River Spirit, where an estimated 28 percent of gamblers come from Broken Arrow.
Originally, the Kialegee Tribal Town was going to lease the property from Creek allotted land owners Marcella Giles and Wynema Capps for the proposed casino at the southwest corner of Florence Street (111th Street) and Olive Avenue (129th East Avenue).
But construction was halted in May when U.S. Chief District Judge Gregory Frizzell ruled that the Kialegee Tribal Town, whose fewer than 450 members are Creek Indians, did not have jurisdiction at the site.
With that court defeat pending in an appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Figueredo and Shane Rolls had pitched a new plan in which the Creeks would receive a significant cut of the gaming revenues without having to invest a dime.
They estimate that the casino would generate $15 million to $25 million a year for the tribe.
According to a draft proposal, the landowners would lease the property to the tribe for $450,000 a year for 10 years, which would be paid from the Red Clay Group’s 30 percent share of gaming revenues.
A Muscogee (Creek) Nation committee discusses a proposal for the tribe to take over a controversial Broken Arrow casino project during a meeting Tuesday night in Okmulgee. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World