From left: Bureau of Indian Affairs Southern Plains Regional Director James Schock, Shawnee Tribe Chief Ron Sparkman and Global Gaming President and CEO Skip Seeley mark the signing of a deed for an off-reservation casino in Guymon, Oklahoma, on March 28, 2018. Photo: Golden Mesa Casino

Shawnee Tribe planning to start work on off-reservation casino

The Shawnee Tribe is planning to start of construction on a long-awaited off-reservation casino.

The tribe officially signed the deed for the 107-acre site in Guymon, Oklahoma, on Wednesday. Plans call for a 42,000 square-foot facility, to be known as the Golden Mesa Casino.

"We can now look forward to ground-breaking and getting construction underway!" a post on Facebook read. A groundbreaking date, though, was not announced.

Guymon is more than 400 miles from Shawnee headquarters. The tribe chose a site there due to restrictions placed on land acquisitions in the northeastern part of the state and opposition to prior projects elsewhere in the state.

One prior proposal would have put a casino close to Oklahoma City. That's an area of competitive interest to the Chickasaw Nation but the tribe's subsidiary, Global Gaming Solutions, is now working with the Shawnees on Golden Mesa.

The Shawnee Tribe pursued the casino under two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The process requires approval from both the federal government as well as the state of Oklahoma.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs finalized the environmental assessment toward the end of the Obama administration and Gov. Mary Fallin (R) gave her blessing shortly afterward.

The Trump administration, however, held up the final portion -- the land-into-trust application -- for a year for unexplained reasons. Secretary Ryan Zinke of the Department of the Interior finally announced approval at a ceremony in Oklahoma City on January 18 that included the Shawnee Tribe, the Chickasaw Nation and Gov. Fallin.

The Shawnee Tribe was restored to federal recognition by an act of Congress in 2000. Previously, the Shawnees had been considered a part of the much larger and culturally distinct Cherokee Nation.

Indianz.Com on Google Maps: Shawnee Tribe Homelands in Oklahoma

Read More on the Story:
Following a site visit and Texas County records check, the deed signing took place March 28 at the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office in Anadarko, Okla. (The Guymon Daily Herald March 28, 2018)
Shawnee Tribe signs deed to 107 acres for Golden Mesa Casino construction (KVII March 28, 2018)
Texas County is Getting a New Casino (My High Plains March 28, 2018)

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