A new tribal casino venue is in the works for the state of Oklahoma, as this Tuesday saw the official presentation of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians tribe. According to the information issued, the region of east Enid might witness a tribal casino venue managed by the Indian tribe, set to launch operation sometime around 2020 if it receives the approval of the local regulators.
Over the span of the past several years, the Native American tribe has expressed its desire to develop a tribal gaming location in the area of Enid town in the Garfield County, Oklahoma. Tribal gaming is well-developed within the borders of the state and it has a lot on offer for gaming enthusiasts. The closest locations overseen by tribes are Tonkawa Hotel and Casino in Tonkawa and 7 Clans Paradise Casino in Red Rock.
Their overall success has prompted the Indian tribe to eye this opportunity providing it with a steady flow of capital and reliable work positions for members of the tribe. However, according to a recent research, it was confirmed that there are about 36 casino venues currently in operation within a 100-mile circle drawn around Enid which could potentially affect the future revenue of the tribal casino venue.
The Year 2020 Might Bring Windfall to Tribe
Tuesday was a date circled in many people’s calendars as an important one since it saw the Enid City Commission study session. It became known that the tribe has been working on this proposed gaming project for the past couple of years. City Manager Jerald Gilbert stated that introducing the plans at the aforementioned meeting was considered the most convenient manner of approaching the situation. Through an open discussion, members of the Commission have had the chance to learn more about the plans and how they would fit in the grand scheme of things.
What should be taken into account is that the tribe has its headquarters in Tahlequah, some 180 miles from Enid, therefore raising questions about whether or not the site could become a tribal or tribal trust land. At the said meeting the plan revealed that the land lot reaches 5.4 acres near the substantial Government Springs South park and Greenbrier Village. Some $10 million would be poured in the project so that a pinpointed building could undergo reconstruction and complete refurbishing.
The transformation would result in a 20,000 square feet of gaming offerings elevating the gamers experience in the region of east Enid. The tribe clarified that the new venue would come with two divided areas dedicating their offerings to smokers and non-smokers. Air quality has been a widely discussed topic across casino venues and this one is striving to offer gaming to both supporters and opposers of smoking. As for the gaming options available on site, they would range from Class II and III Vegas-style games.
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians is presenting plans for a casino at a site that's more than 180 miles from tribal headquarters. #Oklahoma https://t.co/dxdNFaGoMR pic.twitter.com/Y6TfntJMWA
— indianz.com (@indianz) September 18, 2018
In addition to the tempting array of gambling machines, there would also be finger food and non-alcoholic beverages serving bar, as well as a café available on site. Alcohol or beer would not be available for purchase on site of the casino facility, aligning with the established policy of the Indian tribe. Randall Hendrix is the Executive Director of United Keetoowah Band’s Corporate Board and during this Tuesday’s meeting, he stated that the practice shall remain across the new casino venue as well, as to maintain consistency.
Future Plans for the Area
Projected revenue from the new facility amounts to some $27.3 million coming from both local players and tourists from neighboring counties and states, which would provide a significant boost to the local economy. The venue would also provide steady work positions for as many as 157 individuals willing to pursue a career in this field.
The community would have the chance to voice its opinion and it is expected to be positive since people already game at tribal casino venues throughout the state. The Indian tribe would have to file in an application to the U.S. Department of Interior in order to obtain the land into trust and have the permission to bring renovation to it. The city’s approval of the project would also be obtained consequently.
It could be recalled that at the beginning of 2017 the tribe was eyeing the opportunity of developing a tribal casino venue in Georgia. A land lot near Ball Ground in the Cherokee County was considered as a potential site for the future casino venue. This entirely new direction of development considered by the tribe stemmed from the fact that Oklahoma State was considered to offer limited gaming opportunities.