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Tribe submits Oacoma casino application

OACOMA -- The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe submitted an application Wednesday to the U.S. secretary of the interior to allow tribal gaming on trust land near Oacoma.

The Lower Brule Sioux Reservation is about five miles from the trust land.

Tribal Chairman Michael Jandreau met with Bureau of Indian Affairs Great Plains Director Weldon Loudermilk in Aberdeen to give him the application to present to the secretary.

The tribe announced its intentions in February during a public information meeting at Oacoma.

According to a press release from the tribe, the application described how Lower Brule reached out to the surrounding communities, the town of Oacoma, Lyman County and the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe about the impact of the proposed casino. The project's estimated cost is $34 million.

Should the secretary of the interior approve the application, it would then move to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for consideration. Daugaard could choose to approve the application, deny the application or simply not reply to the application.

Should the process move forward, the tribe would then renegotiate its gaming compact and shift its existing on-reservation casino operation to the new off-reservation site.

If built, the casino would be the first tribal casino on noncontiguous tribal land in South Dakota.