Okla. senator asks if tribal gambling OK in areas with no tribal connections

Okla. senator asks if tribal gambling OK in areas with no tribal connections

January 09, 2017 9:57 AM
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Although it’s hundred of miles from its tribal headquarters, an Oklahoma Indian tribe wants to build a $25 million casino in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The proposal has prompted a state senator to ask if tribal gambling should be allowed in areas that have no historical tribal connections.

Republican Sen. Bryce Marlatt of Woodward told The Associated Press Friday that allowing tribal casinos on land with no historical tribal ties could prompt state leaders to re-examine whether tribes have the exclusive right to casino operations and open gambling to anyone.

The Shawnee Tribe is proposing a 42,000-square-foot casino near Guymon, located 366 miles away from the tribe's headquarters in Miami, Oklahoma. Supporters counter by saying the proposed Golden Mesa Casino will draw visitors from the Texas Panhandle, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas and create 175 jobs.