With a state-controlled casino under construction south of Wichita, the Oklahoma-based Wyandotte Nation still wants to build its own casino just north of Wichita. But the U.S. Department of Interior has to approve.
"It may take us longer than we want it to take," Wyandotte Chief Billy Friend says. "But we feel in the end we'll be gaming and operating a nice quality facility in Park City, Kansas."
Monday is the deadline for the interior secretary to respond to a lawsuit filed by the tribe. The suit claims the secretary is taking too long to make a decision. However, the judge is likely to grant a 40-day extension.
Oponents of the casino, which include the State of Kansas, contend that the Wyandottes' casino in Kansas City fulfills the government's land trust obligation to the tribe. They say the tribe has no right to use more land for gaming.
"It's just a very technically-complex problem," Stand Up For Kansas executive director Glenn Thompson says. "I wish it were simple, because if it were simple I think they would have turned it down long ago."
Meanwhile, the Kansas attorney general has asked to be included as a defendant in the case which the Department of Interior wants moved from Washington D.C. to federal court in Kansas. The tribe plans to file objections to both requests.