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Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town of the Creek Nation of Oklahoma

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A tribal delegation visited their prospective new home in Hancock County, Georgia. A public forum in Sparta, an impoverished middle Georgia city, was scheduled July 24, more than a year after the Kialegee made a similar announcement. They withdrew, but the Quassarte - with no a reservation - stepped in. "We plan to go all the way through with it," said Chief Jimmy Buckley. "We want to establish our roots in our ancestral homeland, and we think the project will be a good deal for the county and for the state." Ken Baldwin, a developer-consultant based in Oklahoma, said the first official steps in the complicated approval process could be taken within a month. The tribe must buy land and apply to the BIA to have it put in trust for a reservation, and apply for a casino license. Gov. Roy Barnes said he is personally opposed to casino gambling, but noted the approval process is controlled by federal regulations. Lesley Roberts, program coordinator for Hancock County, said last year, people in Hancock eagerly supported the proposal which could generate approximately 2,500 jobs, Roberts said. "If casino gambling is coming to Georgia, it's coming to Hancock County."

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