The Golden Mesa Casino in Guymon, Oklahoma, is a partnership between the Shawnee Tribe and Global Gaming Solutions, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation. Photo: Golden Mesa Casino

Shawnee Tribe plans to open long-awaited off-reservation casino in summer of 2019

The Shawnee Tribe finally broke ground on an off-reservation casino in Oklahoma, a project more than a decade in the making.

The Golden Mesa Casino is expected to open in the summer of 2019. The 42,000 square-foot facility is being developed in partnership with Global Gaming Solutions, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation.

"Thank you to Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, Shawnee Tribe Chief Ron Sparkman, and all the special guests who joined us for the groundbreaking ceremony today," a May 31 post on Facebook read. A short video also was posted.

The casino is being built in Guymon, about 400 miles from Shawnee headquarters. The tribe chose the site due to restrictions placed on land acquisitions in the northeastern part of Oklahoma and opposition to prior proposals elsewhere in the state.

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

The tribe pursued the project 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 in which the casino will be located.

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

The Trump administration, however, held up the final portion -- the land-into-trust application for the 107-acre site -- 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.

Guymon is located in in the panhandle region of Oklahoma. The area could attract gamblers from neighboring Texas and Kansas.

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.

Read More on the Story:
Shawnee Tribe, GGS breaks ground on Golden Mesa Casino (The Miami News-Record June 1, 2018)
Guymon hopes to hit the jackpot with Golden Mesa Casino (KFDA May 31, 2018)
Shawnee Tribe, Global Gaming Solutions break ground on Golden Mesa Casino in Guymon (KAMR May 31, 2018)

DOI on Flickr: Shawnee Tribe Fee-To-Trust Signing

Shawnee Tribe Fee-To-Trust Signing

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