Ilani Casino Resort faced legal challenges as the operating native tribe, Cowlitz, was fighting for its right to maintain its lands.
US.- The new Ilani Casino Resort in Cowlitz Native Tribe’s reservation, in Washington State, will finally be opened in the following weeks as the US Supreme Court decided to reject an appeal by opponents. The project took seven years to be completely approved due to a legal battle against the operators, Cowlitz Native Tribe.
Yesterday the federal Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from denouncers, who denied the tribe’s rights to the reservation territory. The casino is located inside the native group’s lands in Washington State. “This is a triumphant moment for The Cowlitz Indian Tribe because it marks the end of a 160-year journey back to our homeland,” expressed Cowlitz Chairman Bill Iyall in his Facebook page. “The Cowlitz, the Forever People, are forever home.”
Opponents, including La Center cardrooms, claimed that the State’s government made a mistake by giving the Cowlitz Tribe 152-acre plot in 2010. As the Supreme Court rejected the appeal, operators will be able to inaugurate its US$510 million Ilani Casino Resort and open the new US$32 million Interstate 5 interchange at Exit 16.
Meanwhile, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe celebrated the Court’s resolution and its Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell stated: “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision blazes a trail forward for Mashpee. The challenges to the Department’s decision to place land into trust for the Cowlitz Tribe are now over.”