Casino Stalker | Land Acquisitions
Shawnee Tribe proposes Oklahoma City casino

The Shawnee Tribe announced plans for a $400 million casino and entertainment complex in Oklahoma City.

Preliminary plans call for a casino, hotel, shopping center, performance hall and movie theater complex on 104 acres near a major interstate. The tribe says the facility will employ about 1,900 people and have an economic impact of $354 million annually.

The project depends on the tribe's ability to have the land placed in trust. The Bush administration has adopted a new policy that makes it harder to open casinos on land away from existing reservations.

The tribe doesn't have a reservation but its headquarters are in Miami, nearly 200 miles from Oklahoma City. The policy states that a gaming site must be within a commutable distance for tribal members.

The tribe was recognized by an act of Congress in 2000. The law appeared to give the tribe the ability to open a casino just about anywhere in Oklahoma.

After word of an Oklahoma City casino surfaced in 2005, Oklahoma's Congressional delegation introduced a rider to make it harder for the tribe to acquire land.

During the recognition process, one of the tribe's lobbyists was Ross Swimmer, the former head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs who now serves as Special Trustee for American Indians. One of the tribe's lawyers is Margaret Swimmer, who is Swimmer's wife.

More information about the project can be found at OKC Major League, on MySpace and on Facebook (Search for "OKC Major League).

Get the Story:
Tribe gambles on city casino (The Oklahoman 1/24)
Shawnee Tribe aims to build $400M OKC resort (The Journal Record 1/24)