A lawyer and member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, expressed his opinion on the decision of the EBCI Tribal Council to buy the Caesars Southern Indiana casino, by filing a formal protest.
The reported amount for the purchase of the casino is $ 250 million. If this move is successful, it will be Tribe’s first attempt at trading games.
The purchase has been the idea of tribal leadership for quite some time, but according to Saunooke, it is an act that is irresponsible and against the Charter. He added: “Aside from the fact that I think this is a horrible business deal, it seems to me that the way it is set up violates the Tribal Charter, which requires the Tribal Council to control all real and personal property of the Tribe.”
Saunooke also expressed his concern that the Tribe did not have enough money to buy a casino. The lawyer thinks that if it comes to closing a deal, the Tribe will violate your ordinance when withdrawing money.
Cherokee Indians offer $ 250 million for Caesars Southern Indiana
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) expressed interest in buying Caesars Southern Indiana in November of last year after the Tribal Council approved the next deal.
EBCI first showed interest in a letter. Under the terms of the letter, Caesars is obligated to work exclusively with the Cherokees for 45 days after signing the letter.
Saunokee says he agrees with the need for economic diversification. But according to him, the purchase of the casino will not bring the benefits that the tribes want it to bring. In the lawyer’s words, the $ 250 million paid by the Tribe will not buy them a building and will not bring them enough profit to make up for the loss. Saunokee says the most the People can get is around $ 3 million or they can return the entire investment in 25 years.
Saunooke suggested that the Tribe invest in itself, in the infrastructure in order to provide a better environment for visitors.
Saunooke sent the protest to Tribal Council President Adam Wachacha in late 2020, hoping that he would present it at the first Tribal Council session of the year.
In early January, council attorney Carolyn West announced that Saunooke’s protest was invalid. According to her, Saunooke is not a stakeholder in the agreement and “did not include a direct impact statement that makes the protest deficient and the protest will not be placed on the Tribal Council Agenda.”
West stated that Saunooke’s protest did not erase the four qualifying terms in accordance with Chapter 117 of the Cherokee Code. As a result, this process is not on the agenda for the first Tribal Council of the year.
Source: “Indiana Casino Purchase Receives Formal Protest,” Cherokee One Feather, January 12, 2021