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Iowa Tribal Gaming

The first tribal gaming compact in Iowa was signed in 1992, one year after the state approved riverboat casinos in 1991. The state currently has compacts with three tribes.

In June 2008, Gov. Chet Culver, the Attorney General and the Director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals announced together they would be seeking a judicial review of the planned Carter Lake casino by the Ponca Tribe, which had been approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) in 2007. The Iowa officials referenced a 2003 agreement between the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the State of Iowa citing the land in question would not be used for gaming. Furthermore, the state asserted that the Ponca Tribe, when placing the land into trust, committed its use for nongaming purposes only.

In January 2009, a federal judge reversed the 2007 NIGC approval, based on the 2003 agreement. However, in 2010 the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined it had been wrong for the judge to throw out the commission's 2007 decision and that the NIGC needed to review the request again, with due consideration of the 2003 agreement.

Since sports betting launched in commercial casinos and online in the state back in 2020, tribal casinos have stated theior intrention to also offer sports betting, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed these plans.

Iowa Tribal Gaming Properties

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