A month after a new tribal government took office, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes are abandoning plans to pursue online gaming outside U.S. borders through PokerTribes.com.
Incoming Gov. Rollin "Eddie" Hamilton, whose official capacity is disputed by a divided government, has removed several casino personnel and an attorney general responsible for pursuing federal approval of the website's international operations, reported Tulsa World.
The tribe invested $9.4 million in PokerTribes.com, which is currently inactive, but Hamilton has decided not to risk spending more money on what he expects will prove a costly and fruitless effort.
Last April, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin granted permission for the tribe to offer online poker and casino games to customers located outside the U.S., paying the State of Oklahoma 20 percent of proceeds.
But in November the Department of Interior deemed state officials have no authority to sanction that kind of agreement. On December 26, Cheyenne and Arapaho leaders filed a federal lawsuit in Oklahoma City against the Interior to push the agreement forward. Hamilton has since directed tribal attorney Richard Grellner to stop pursuing the lawsuit, which court records show as pending, reported pokeerupdate.com.
The Concho, Oklahoma-based tribe of 12,000 members operates four casinos: two Lucky Star casinos in Concho and Clinton, and two Feather Warrior casinos in Watonga and Canton.