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Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho

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Recent closure of Fort Hall's Bannock Peak Casino left tribal officials with more questions than answers. A public notice of the closure signed by Fort Hall Treasurer Mike Dann is hanging on the front door. It lists several brief reasons, including non-compliance with building codes required by the National Indian Gaming Commission. "Additional funds are needed to place the Bannock Peak Casino in an operational condition to meet minimum internal controls," the letter reads. Dann's letter also states the casino is located in an area with an unresolved environmental cleanup issue. Fort Hall Tribal Business Council Chairman Lionel Boyer said old tanks underneath the casino parking lot and the adjacent trading post may contain agricultural fertilizers that pose an environmental threat. But, he said Aug. 15, he was not certain of their contents. Both the trading post and the casino have been closed in the past because of the tanks, adding, "I thought they had that resolved." Boyer said he expects the casino will reopen in the future. Proceeds from its operation are used for tribal services. "It will be a loss of money for the tribes," he said of the closure. "We won't be getting that income."

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