The Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma is a federally recognized tribe that started building a casino called Golden Mesa Casino on May 31, 2018. The facility is expected to open its doors to the public on September 12, and the tribe plans a grand opening celebration on that day.
The history of the casino started last March when a 107-acre site located in the north of Oklahoma was given to the tribe after they signed an official deed at BIA. The casino is located in Guymon, Oklahoma, which is approximately 370 miles from the headquarters of the tribe and their company Global Gaming Solutions.
The casino itself will be located in a 42,000 sq ft area. It will include approximately 600 machines for electronic gaming and at least six gaming tables. Apart from the casino, visitors will also be able to visit a small diner which is located in the area.
The president of the Shawnee Tribe, Chris Floyd, stated that everyone was excited about the casino as it was the “first of its hand.” He added that the entertainment venue is the top shelf one for the Panhandle.
Moreover, Floyd stated that they would bring visitors from all over the area. He added that he believes new visitors would enjoy playing games, shopping and staying the night, improving the overall economy of the area. According to Floyd, the casino is expected to create an economic impact of approximately $36 million annually. Moreover, there will be 175 new job openings for people who are interested in working in the casino.
The Shawnee Tribe successfully regained their tribal status when President Clinton signed the Shawnee Tribe Status Act of 2000; which was one of the latest things he did in his office. The Chairman of Shawnee Development LLC, Greg Pitcher, stated that they would be able to be self-sufficient for the first time ever, not depending on others such as other governments.
The tribe started their pursuit of a casino under a process which was outlined by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Two years after that, BIA finalized the environmental assessment, and Mary Fallin, the Governor of Oklahoma, followed suit.
They had some troubles along the way, mainly caused by Trump administration. The entire process was held off for the entire 2018 and the beginning of 2019. Finally, they managed to sign the Shawnee Tribe’s land into trust application and proceed with the next steps.
Greg Pitcher stated that the whole thing had been “kind of a long shot.” He added that it had taken a long time to do everything and make it perfect. He thanked Global Gaming and the Chickasaw Nation for financing the project and “getting the job done.” Finally, Pitcher concluded that he was looking forward to all the benefits that the members of the tribe would have from the casino.
The casino is expected to attract visitors not only from Oklahoma but also from other neighboring states, including New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Kansas. According to Bill Lance, Secretary of Commerce at the Chickasaw Nation, the visitors of the casino would spend their money to boost the local economy and create numerous job opportunities, as the casino would also positively affect other local businesses and generate higher tax revenues. However, Lance stated that the best thing that the new entertainment venue would bring is the excitement among the tribal members, locals, and visitors from Oklahoma and states nearby.
Therefore, if you happen to be in Oklahoma after September 12, make sure to drop by and check out the new casinos called Golden Mesa Casino.