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Fort Sill Apache Casino: The Rise and Fall of Ft Sill Apache Casino

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  • Fort Sill Apache Casino: The Rise and Fall of Ft Sill Apache Casino

    The Ft Sill Apache Casino should be illegal because American Indian tribes are only allowed to build casinos on FORMER RESERVATION LAND. The Ft Sill Apache tribe never had a "former reservation" but were placed on Comanche, Kiowa, and Kiowa-Apache reservation land. Through shady dealing, the representatives who wanted to build this casino convinced a naive (or well paid off?) Bureau of Indian Affairs big shot to make a secret determination that "Yes", the Kiowa-APACHE designation applied to the Ft Sill Apache tribe, and that "Yes" they thus "HAD" former reservation land. This was done in secret and the Ft Sill Apache Tribe commenced building before the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache tribes, the true former reservation tribes found out about it. They were not consulted, notified of intent, or anything, just boom, they were building.The Kiowa-Apache tribe is now known as the Plains Apache Tribe and has its own casino in Anadarko OK. They are a distinct and separate Apache band that roamed the plains and then allied themselves as a sub-tribe of the Kiowas. When the Comanches agreed to let the Kiowas share reservation land in the treaty of Medicine Lodge, KS, they also agreed to take the Kiowa-Apaches also, and thus the two tribes ended up with the Comanches and are referred to as the KCA land owners, and have a KCA land-use committee of whcih the Ft Sill Apache tribe is not party.The Ft Sill Apaches arrived on the reservation in question as prisoners of war allowed to build houses until they could be dealt with and their status changed. The treaty stipulating that they could temporarily be housed on KCA land also stipulated that the land they occupied along with the land carved out of the reservation for Ft Sill would revert back to the KCA tribes upon the end of their usage. It did not grant the Ft Sill Apaches a "reservation". And thus they should not be able to claim a former reservation through that method. Coming in under the guise as "Apaches" because the Kiowa-Apaches were granted a reservation is in all intents and purposes, an illegal move by the Interior Department.Taken to court over this matter, the Ft Sill Apaches got the Interior Department to side with them on the definition of Apache and as "former reservation land owner". Furious, the KCA's could not get another determination.The management of the Ft Sill Apache tribal gaming organization made some bold moves to attempt to place gaming machines in New Mexico but were blocked by New Mexico authorities, and this almost became a physical confrontation to close off the parts of New Mexico that the State shut down. I do not place blame on the Ft Sill Apache Business Committee, who are mostly untrained in Casino Management or gaming businesses, but the outside casino management that came in and worked through the Tribe to make the bold moves they have made to date. This boldness seems to have been taken to new heights in the current operation of the casino. What started out as a small cozy place where the winnings seem to be on par with nationwide casinos has deteriorated into a place where no bells are ringing for winners, and no jackpots are seen on a regular basis by those who have been long time customers. Most customers now know each other and almost all agree that the casino's chips, which the customers witnessed being changed, were changed for worse. Extra levels of "choice" have been introduced to knock off, further, the chance of winning. The bold moves, almost out in the open, are said to increase the casinos profits because they are now planning a seven or so story Hotel.

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