A Faction of EBCI Members Want to Reverse the Caesars Southern Indiana Casino Deal
Controversies continue to mar the Caesars Southern Indiana Casino as a group of 14 tribal members recently submitted a protest letter intending to reverse the purchase. The protestors cited violation of the Tribe’s Charter and Governing Document on multiple fronts. According to the protestors, investing in the casino is poor utilization of tribal funds and an unwise financial assessment.
The group of protesting tribal members includes a former principal chief and two sitting tribal council members. According to the claims made by the trio, the meeting on December 17 was in gross violation of the tribe’s Charter and Governing Document, which is its highest law, at par with the U.S. Constitution.
Analyzing the Story So Far
The protestors, in particular, point to Section 16 in the Charter, which states that the “Tribal Council shall direct the control and management of all tribal properties, real, personal, or belonging to the tribe” and “no person shall be entitled to enjoy the money that belongs to the tribe unless such a person is an enrolled member of the tribe. And in such cases too, the money, derived from any source whatsoever, shall be distributed per capita among the entitled members”.
The protestors believe the arrangement with Caesars is in violation of the law as profits from the venture will not boost the per capita income. Furthermore, the LLC is in charge of overseeing the gambling venture, as opposed to the Tribal Council and the EBCI.
At the moment, just two members out of five must be members of the EBCI, and although the tribe reserves the right to make the initial appointments, all future selections will be made by the sitting members. And while the EBCI retains 100% control over the venture, the LLC is in charge of overseeing daily proceedings.
What are the Protests All About?
The protestors have further claimed that the special meeting on December 17 violated Section 10 of the charter, calling it an unauthorized session of the Tribal Council. “The purchase of a business does not fall under the defined boundaries of the law,” the protestors claim.
Furthermore, the purchase violates tribal laws mandating how the casino proceeds can be spent. According to Section 16-C of the Cherokee Code, half of the casino revenues must be spent on improving the per capita income of the members. In contrast, the second half must be spent on supporting the Tribal government’s enterprises and operations while providing for the general welfare of the tribe and its members.
Caesars Southern Indiana is up for sale since the firm’s merger with Eldorado Resorts created the nation’s largest casino and entertainment company in violation of the market share laws in certain states. Therefore, the management had to sell off a few properties in some states, including Indiana, to stay within the purview of the law.