The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska announced Monday that the first phase of the gaming facility currently under construction on their sovereign land in Carter Lake, Iowa is projected to open in late October 2018.

According to the official press release (pdf)…

The Nebraska tribe also revealed that the new casino will be named Prairie Flower Casino after former Chief Standing Bear’s daughter who died during the forced removal from their homeland in northeastern Nebraska to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.

Plans post phase one:

The federally recognized tribe’s plans to expand the footprint of the gaming facility so that it may provide more jobs, entertainment and economic development for the region are in motion and will reportedly be announced when finalized.

Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Chairman Larry Wright, Jr. said in a statement…

“After exhaustive consideration and valuable input from our Tribal members, we’re pleased to announce Prairie Flower Casino as the name of the gaming facility being built on our tribal land in Carter Lake.

“With its name, we honor our Tribe’s past and the sacrifices our people made, while charting a new path of prosperity for our Tribe. The Prairie Flower Casino will allow us to better serve our members, while bringing economic development and growth to the Carter Lake region.”

Property attributes:

Additional information regarding the Prairie Flower Casino includes:

  • Phase one will have approximately 9,500 square feet.
  • Phase one will feature 200 slot-style games. Table games will not be present.
  • The casino will feature a full-service bar, along with a snack bar.
  • The Prairie Flower Casino will be open to individuals 21 years of age and older.
  • The casino expects to initially hire approximately 100 individuals to staff the facility.

In June this year, the Ponca Tribe held a ground-breaking ceremony for the casino located in the small town of Carter Lake, which sits geographically on the west side of the Missouri River, adjacent to Omaha, where casinos are illegal. The hope is that the enterprise will draw a large number of its future players from what is the state’s largest city.

Legal wrangling:

Construction of the Prairie Flower Casino comes after a decade of lawsuits, appeals and legal reviews, including a series of rulings from the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC).

In November last year, the NIGC gave the tribe the green light to put a casino on five acres of its tribal land in Carter Lake.

The casino is reportedly bound to face stiff competition from the three casinos already located in Iowa’s Pottawattamie County, including the Horseshoe Council Bluffs and Harrah’s Council Bluffs, as well as Ameristar Council Bluffs.

According to the press release, the grand opening date of the casino will be revealed as construction of the casino nears completion.