Beebe Opposed to Fort Smith Casino - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Fort Smith, AR

Beebe Opposed to Fort Smith Casino

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A group trying to win approval to build an Indian casino in Fort Smith won't have the backing of Governor Beebe.

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians has petitioned the federal Bureau of Indian for permission to open the casino. The agency has not made a decision yet and final word could be a couple of years away. Fort Smith developer Bennie Westphal says the Oklahoma-based tribe wants to build a $131 million casino and hotel near downtown Fort Smith.

Beebe says he will state his opposition to the casino to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The tribe argues that it can have a casino in Fort Smith because it would be on land adjacent to its reservation. The law that allows Indian casinos says the governor would have to concur for the casino to open.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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