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AG Signs Enforcement Papers on Tribal Casino

KWGS File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Attorney General Scott Pruitt has signed an enforcement agreement with the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians over a tribal casino in Tahlequah.

The agreement signed Friday requires the tribe to pay $2 million in damages and secure federal acceptance of the casino's land into trust by the end of July or cease gaming operations.

The Keetoowah tribe opened the casino in 1986 before the federal government determined whether the land was Indian land. Under state law, casinos on non-Indian land are illegal.

But state and federal courts issued injunctions to prohibit enforcement of state gaming laws because of questions about whether the Keetoowah's casino was on Indian land.

The National Indian Gaming Commission concluded last year that the casino land was not Indian land and not eligible for gaming