Local & Regional
9:06 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Tribal Casino in Eastern Oklahoma Closes

The Keetoowah Casino was in Tahlequah
Credit Keetoowah Casino

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — A tribal casino in eastern Oklahoma has closed.

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians was hoping to negotiate with the Cherokee Nation to keep its Tahlequah casino open.

However, time ran out for the Keetoowahs, and the casino closed down, leaving about 150 employees without jobs.

The Tulsa World reports that there was a Friday deadline to have the land in trust or close the casino. That was part of a settlement with the state following a court ruling that the casino had been operating illegally for more than 25 years on land that was never in trust.

The U.S. Department of the Interior had agreed to put the land in trust for the Keetoowahs, but a federal judge's ruling halted that action after the Cherokee Nation sued.