Oklahoma tribe approves Southwest Casino expansion
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Southwest Casino Corporation (OTCBB:SWCC) announced today that on February 24, 2004, the Tribal Council of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma voted to approve the terms of an extension and expansion of the gaming management relationship between the Tribes and Southwest. All enrolled adult members of the Tribes are eligible to participate and vote at Tribal Council meetings.
The 183 members of the Tribes who attended the Tribal Council meeting on February 24th voted to adopt resolutions approving proposed terms for, and authorizing a attorney for the Tribes to review the final terms of, gaming management agreements under which Southwest will continue to manage the Tribes' existing Lucky Star casinos in Concho and Clinton, Oklahoma, expand the Concho and Clinton facilities to provide more gaming space and greater amenities, assume the management of and expand the Tribes' existing Feather Warrior casinos in Watonga and Canton Lake, Oklahoma, and develop and manage new gaming facilities on tribal land in four other Oklahoma cities. The Tribal Council's resolutions require the agreements to be presented to the Tribal Council at a meeting scheduled for March 31, 2007 for final approval.
Southwest currently manages the Tribes' Lucky Star casinos in Concho and Clinton under a gaming management agreement that was first approved during October 1993. That agreement, as amended, currently expires on May 19, 2007. Under the resolutions adopted by the Tribal Council, the management agreements will run for five years beginning on the first day that Southwest begins management of the facilities under the new agreements. In addition to its expanded management responsibility, Southwest will pay for construction of a proposed $4.5 million Indian Health Service clinic building out of the management fees it receives under the new agreements.
The validity of the February 24, 2007 Tribal Council meeting has been challenged in the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Court. In addition, under the Tribes' Constitution adopted in 2006, gaming management agreements must be approved by the Governor of the Tribes and the tribal Legislature, as well as the Tribal Council.
Mr. Jim Druck, Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Casino Corporation, stated, "Although the Governor of the Tribes has in the past opposed extending our management relationship, we believe this vote demonstrates that we have strong support within the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes." The resolutions adopted by the Tribal Council direct the Governor of the Tribes to enter into the gaming management agreements on behalf of the Tribes within five days of final approval by the Tribal Council and direct the tribal Legislature to ratify the agreements no later than five days after the Governor signs it or, if the Governor does not sign, no later than 10 days after final approval by the Tribal Council.
In general, gaming management agreements between Native American tribes and management contractors must also be approved by the Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) before becoming effective.