Panel Falls Short of Endorsing Indian Casino for Fort Smith

OCTOBER 25, 2006 - Posted at 4:02 p.m. CDT

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - An Indian group proposing a casino for Fort Smith has failed to win a formal endorsement from the city's Advertising and Promotion Commission.

Members at a meeting yesterday voted three-to-two in favor of endorsing the United Keetoowah Band's effort to build a riverfront casino and hotel. But the commission has seven members and its rules require a majority of at least four votes for a proposal to pass. Two members were absent from the meeting.

The Keetoowah group has made application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place the land in trust. Only after winning trust approval can a tribe ask the National Indian Gaming Commission for clearance to operate a casino.

The Fort Smith Central Business Improvement District Commission and the board of the local chamber of commerce previously approved resolutions supporting the development.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)