While the Red Clay casino was at the center of the storm, in the end, it was the River Spirit casino that ultimately swayed Muscogee Creek council members to kill the Red Clay proposal.
"So what we're proposing essentially is a 70/30 split.," said casino developer Luis Figueredo, willing to go way beyond 50/50 to get a deal done for the tens of millions Red Clay was projected to haul in annually. But the fly in the ointment ? The tribe's conclusion as to where those players would comes from.
"28 1/2 percent of our current business at River Spirit casino comes from Broken Arrow and the zip codes immediately around it and to the east of it," said Pat Croft, CEO of Creek Nation gaming facilities.
As several council members remarked, they'd be eating into their own profits. As to the months of protestors gathering signatures and waving signs, did that have an impact on the council?
"Well, you now, there's always public outcry as far as Indian gaming is concerned, so that doesn't surprise, I mean you see it all across the country, I don't think that was any thought to whatever decision was made tonight," said Principal Chief George Tiger.
And yet, ironically, by thwarting the Kialegees, the citizens group is ultimately responsible for the Muscogee Creek Nation halting the project to keep it from competing with themselves.
"Certainly there's relief, I think there's a sense of gratitude that the Muscogee Creek Nation did the right thing," said Rob Martinek.
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