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Osage Nation: Cuba 'Where We Want To Be'

Osage Casinos CEO Byron Bighorse told a group of community leaders, county, school and city officials Wednesday that Cuba is where the Osage Nation wants to construct a casino.

There are currently no Indian casinos in Missouri and Bighorse wants to make Cuba "the flagship" of their future operations.

Discussion began on the casino in January 2016. In May, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger relayed reports the Osage Nation was interested in gaming locations in Missouri. Osage News reported in January that Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear revealed three sites he and his team were looking into — Cuba, Kimberling City and Lake of the Ozarks.

The process could take up to 10 years. Bighorse said whether it gets approval is up to the people of Cuba, the governor of Missouri and the president of the United States.

"The Osage is committed to the people of Cuba," Bighorse said, but offered that if residents don't want them there, they won't build. "We won't build where we're not wanted."

Siebert organized Wednesday's meeting at Cuba City Hall to get back to "square one." Siebert said Messenger's story caused much speculation and created a firestorm. The meeting was an opportunity for county officials, city officials, law enforcement, first responders and business leaders to hear from the Osage Nation in person.

Read more on this story in the Nov. 15 issue of the Independent News.

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