BIA rejects gaming for Shawnee Tribe at Oklahoma City location

The Shawnee Tribe can't engage in gaming at a site in Oklahoma City, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said.

The tribe wants to build the $400 million Major League facility on 104 acres. But the land doesn't qualify under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk said in a press release.

The tribe was restored to recognition by an act of Congress. The law, as originally written, would have allowed the tribe to engage in gaming at just about any site in Oklahoma.

But after the tribe announced the casino, Congress amended the law to place more hurdles on the project. As a result, it appears the land doesn't meet an exception that applies to newly restored tribes, although the BIA's press release wasn't specific on this point.

The tribe could still pursue the casino under the two-part determination section of IGRA. The process requires approval by the state governor.

Get the Story:
Interior Department rejects Shawnee Tribe gaming bid for Oklahoma City (The Oklahoman 11/11)
Press Release: Echo Hawk Issues Tribal Gaming Determinations (BIA 11/10)