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This month's Indian gaming news round-up dives into a Supreme Court case with major implications for Florida mobile betting, a contentious off-reservation casino project in Oregon, and big expansion plans, earnings news, and leadership changes across Indian Country.

Seminole Tribe Mobile Betting Faces Supreme Court Showdown 

A longstanding bid against tribal exclusivity in Florida mobile betting has made its way to the US Supreme Court. The court was scheduled to hold a conference on Thursday, June 13, to decide if it would take up the West Flagler Associates v. Haaland case involving the Seminole Tribe of Florida and two Florida betting companies.  

Under a proposed compact with the state, the tribe would receive exclusive rights to operate mobile betting in the state. The case began in 2021 and led temporarily to the tribe halting their mobile betting operation just after launch. A later reversal by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals cleared the way for the tribe to reopen their operation. In February 2024, West Flagler Associates filed a writ of certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to intervene.  

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), gaming attorney David Wallach wrote that the court could take one of three options:  take the case (grant certiorari), turn it down (deny certiorari) or grant a summary reversal, which would ban online gaming in Florida immediately. The court’s decision is expected on either Monday, June 17 or Monday, June 24.  

Off-Reservation Casino Faces Congressional Battle as Tribes Clash

A long-simmering casino project in southern Oregon that has ignited a fierce rivalry between the region’s tribes has caught the attention of congressional appropriators.  Opponents of the project, including other tribes and a bipartisan coalition of politicians — Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, four Senators Oregon and California, and members of the House from the two states — are pushing for language in the upcoming Interior-Environment spending bill that would permanently halt the project, per reporting by Capitol Hill watchdog publication Roll Call.

The Coquille Indian Tribe’s proposed casino in Medford, Oregon is off of reservation lands. However, the tribe argues the 2.4 acre lot is within its “service area.” 

The Department of Interior’s decision on the approval — in the works since November 2012 - is still pending. Other area tribes have approached Congress to stop the Medford casino plans for good out of concern for encroaching competition. Two such tribes recently asked the House Appropriations Committee to include language in the FY 2025 bill prohibiting “service area” casinos. 

Michael Rondeau, CEO for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe, testified that allowing the casino would prompt cuts to his tribe’s budget. Karuk Tribe chairman Russell Atteberry warned it could set a “new national precedent without consulting tribes.” 

Coquille Chair Brenda Meade called the testimonies “shameful” when speaking to Roll Call. 

“Indian gaming was never created for some tribes, it was created for all tribes,” Meade said. “There is a process and a law that has been looked at over and over, and Congress has approved those processes and policies and laws.” 


Wilton Rancheria-owned Sky River Casino, located in Elk Grove, California, announced plans for an expansion in early June. Alongside its partner Boyd Gaming Corporation, the tribe disclosed plans for a resort next to the casino with a 300-room hotel and 1,600-space parking garage. The garage is slated to open in summer 2025 and the hotel in early 2027, according to a report by Sacramento news station Fox 40 Local News. 

The Muscogee Nation is investing $69.8 million in a new Lake Eufaula Casino and Hotel, featuring a 20,500 sq. ft. casino, 46-room hotel, restaurant, and bar. Leaders from the tribe and its gaming arm broke ground on the development this week. Expected to open in November 2025, the project will create 50 new jobs and benefit the local economy by attracting tourism and showcasing Muscogee Nation heritage.


South Carolina’s Catawba Indian Tribe has broken ground on a $700 million casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Tribal leaders told Charlotte, N.C.-based publication The News and Observer that the casino will create nearly 2,000 jobs. The planned casino will be 2 million square feet, including 1,350 slots and electronic table games, a 40-seat restaurant, and sports book. The first phase of the casino is planned to open in early 2026. 


In Connecticut, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority posted its highest quarterly net revenue in history, as reported by trade publication Indian Gaming. The authority announced $461.7 million in revenue for its second fiscal quarter, ending March 31. That’s up nearly 14% — more than $55 million — over last year’s revenues in the same time period, according to the authority’s latest earnings announcement. The report attributes the gains to two new developments in the last year. One is the opening of Mohegan INSPIRE, an entertainment resort in South Korea. The other is Mohegan Digital, an online gaming offering launched April 2 this year. 


The Auburn, Washington-based Muckleshoot Casino Resort has hired Robert Dearstine as executive director of marketing. Dearstine previously served as the executive director of resort operations. It’s the latest in a long line of casino positions, including former roles at Seminole Classic Casino, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, Route 66 Hotel Casino, and Station Casinos. In a statement, Dearstine said he was excited to bring that experience to his latest role. “It’s an exciting time for Muckleshoot Casino Resort,” he said. “I look forward to contributing to our ongoing success.”

In Manistee, Michigan, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians have named Michael Schrader as general manager for Little River Casino Resort. It’s a homecoming for Schrader, who at one time worked as a team member for the resort. Schrader brings “widespread experience” from leadership positions across the country, including 20 years working in Native American casinos and resorts. “I feel I have come full circle with my return, and quite grateful the Ogema has entrusted me with this crucial endeavor,” Schrader said in a statement. “I have great expectations that we will continue to uphold a high commitment to excellence, growth, and success.” 

Lawton, Oklahoma-based Comanche Nation Entertainment has named Steven Doyle as CEO, moving over from his role as CFO. Doyle has “more than three decades of experience” with both tribal and non-tribal gaming operators, per a Comanche Nation Entertainment statement. “As I step into the role of CEO for Comanche Nation Entertainment, I look forward to leading this dynamic organization into its next chapter of growth and innovation,” said Doyle in the aforementioned statement. “This is an opportunity to collaborate with our talented team and further enhance our commitment to delivering exceptional gaming experiences.”

In Fort Hall, Idaho, Colista Matsaw (Shoshone-Bannock) takes over as CEO for Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel. It’s the latest role among several positions Matsaw has held at the casino, including gaming machine director, interim CEO, and executive hotel director. “I am humbled and honored to serve in the capacity as the CEO for our tribe’s gaming operations,” said Matsaw in a statement. “We have been in business for over 30 years, and I believe with the proper leadership we have the team members to get us to the next level of success that our tribe is capable of.”

If you have news or information about Indian gaming, expansions, developments,or emerging stories, shoot me a note at [email protected].

About The Author
Chez Oxendine
Staff Writer
Chez Oxendine (Lumbee-Cheraw) is a staff writer for Tribal Business News. Based in Oklahoma, he focuses on broadband, Indigenous entrepreneurs, and federal policy. His journalism has been featured in Native News Online, Fort Gibson Times, Muskogee Phoenix, Baconian Magazine, and Oklahoma Magazine, among others.
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