James A. Traficant Jr. said The Vindicator’s coverage of his proposed Indian gambling casino in the Mahoning Valley is hurting the project’s chance of success.
“Maybe the editorial of the newspaper can say, ‘It deserves a chance,’” Traficant said Friday about the casino proposal. The newspaper can write it doesn’t “like Traficant. Traficant’s a bum, but this project deserves a chance.”
Indian gambling casinos aren’t permitted in Ohio under state or federal law.
Only federally recognized Indian tribes — none exist in Ohio — can apply for federal gaming licenses, according to the state attorney general’s office.
Writing that is the same as the newspaper’s “saying you don’t want it,” Traficant said.
Traficant said attorneys for the Indian nations he is assisting — ITANA (Indigenous Tribal Affiliates of Native America), Indian National and Munsee Delaware Indian Nation USA — are in discussions with federal officials about getting approval for the casino.
All that is needed for this casino to become a reality is approval from the U.S. Department of Interior and the governor of Ohio, Traficant contends.
Traficant said at his press conference he helped two Indian nations purchase additional property in North Jackson and Lords-town for a proposed gambling casino.
The proposed project could also include a bank, indoor amusement park, hotel, convention center and data center.
A metal barn on a 72-acre site in Lordstown at Lyntz and Salt Springs roads would be the site of the first casino, he said.
Traficant said he has come to terms on a 182.9-acre location on Bailey Road and Mahoning Avenue in North Jackson for the Indian nations.
The former congressman refused to disclose the purchase prices of the two pieces of land.
Earlier this month, Traficant acted as an agent for the two nations in the purchase for $1 of 20.6 acres in North Jackson.