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7:05 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Broken Arrow casino could soon open doors amid protest

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma Indian tribe could partially open a casino in Broken Arrow by the end of the month -- despite protests from thousands of residents and a pending state lawsuit.

The Kialegee Tribal Town began bulldozing the 20-acre site near the heavily-trafficked Creek Turnpike late last year. In recent weeks, it has trucked in several pre-fabricated buildings to temporarily house the Red Clay Casino.

Opponents of the project say the casino site is too close to schools and churches and will hurt property values and attract crime to the area.

But Kialegee leader Tiger Hobia said the casino is necessary because the tribe lacks the resources to fund programs that serve its members.

The tribe has estimated the gaming facility will employ up to 120 people.