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Ponca Tribe opens controversial Prairie Flower Casino Near O

edit:casino time:2019-02-08

by Allison Mollenkamp, NET News

Ponka Tribe of Nebraska Chairman Larry Wright, Jr. cuts a ribbon to open the Prairie Flower Casino. (Photo by Allison Mollenkamp, NET News)

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November 1, 2018 - 4:30pm

The Ponca Tribe opened their controversial Prairie Flower Casino Thursday in Carter Lake, Iowa. 

A chilly morning didn’t stop a few dozen people from attending the opening of the Prairie Flower Casino. They gathered to listen to leaders of the Ponca Tribe and other stakeholders speak about the latest step in a long road to a Ponca-owned casino.

Larry Wright, Jr., chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska (Photo by Allison Mollenkamp, NET News)

Larry Wright Jr. is the Chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. He emphasized the economic impact of the casino’s 100 jobs.

“Those hundred people that we hired here today that work for the casino, about 20 are Ponca members. The rest are from Carter Lake, Council Bluffs, Omaha, and the metro area. This is truly a group effort,” Wright Jr. said.

The small, 200-slot machine casino is in Carter Lake, Iowa, just minutes from downtown Omaha and the Nebraska border. The mayor of Carter Lake has supported the project, and the city will get about three-quarters of a million dollars from the tribe every year. Some of that money will go to the police and fire departments.

The Prairie Flower Casino. (Photo by Allison Mollenkamp, NET News)

Other local leaders are not as happy with the project. The city of Council Bluffs, as well as Iowa and Nebraska, are suing the federal government over its decision to allow the casino project to move forward.

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