Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Casper Star-Tribune: Printable Version

The Casper Star-Tribune: Printable Version: "Tribe moves ahead with casino
By BRODIE FARQUHAR
Star-Tribune correspondent
RIVERTON -- With any luck, the Wind River Casino will be open by Christmas, according to Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Rick Brannan.
'That's our tentative goal,' said Brannan, after meeting with state legislators at the tribe's existing 789 Bingo facility just outside Riverton on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Members of the Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee met earlier on Monday in Lander, discussing gambling issues with Wyoming Attorney General Pat Crank.
However, the new tribal casino will not open with full-scale Las Vegas-style gambling, but will limit itself to Class II bingo operations under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
'The casino is economically viable as a Class II operation,' Brannan said, 'and will be more so as a Class III operation.'
The state of Wyoming is fighting against Class III, or casino-style, gaming on the reservation. Until that legal battle is resolved, the Northern Arapaho intend to expand their electronic bingo-style gambling in the meantime.
Class II gaming is defined as the game of chance known as bingo (electronic or computer) as well as pull tabs, punch board, tip jars, instant bingo and other games similar to bingo. Class III gaming is extremely broad in definition under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, including such games as slot machines, black jack, craps and roulette.
Brannan and 789 Bingo manager Jim Conrad told the legislators that architects were busy revising building plans and that they hoped to line up construction financing in 60 days. Construction would start in early August, and the casino building would be fu"
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