At the moment, all of the land-based casinos in Oklahoma are closed to the public. Despite that fact, more tribes in the state are pushing to open new casino-resorts. This week, the Chickasaw Tribe offered an update on the Kingston Casino Resort set to open on the shores of Lake Texoma.
This isn’t the only new gambling venue set to open in this state. Today, we’re going to discuss what’s planned for the Kingston Casino. We’ll also talk about when casinos in the state may decide to open again.
Let’s get into it!
Governor Stitt Continues to Fight in the Courts With Tribes
Kevin Stitt is now well-known for his legal disputes with different Native American tribes in the state. This all started back in the beginning of 2019. That was when the tribe’s gambling compacts expired and lawmakers began demanding they negotiate for new ones.
In 2004, the tribes and state officials agreed to 15-year contracts. These called for the tribes to pay between 4% to 10% of their total revenue in taxes to the state. Now that these contracts are expired, state leaders argue it’s time for the tribes and lawmakers to come up with new agreements.
As of now, the tribes with casinos here are operating as if it’s business as usual. Governor Kevin Stitt believes that they are doing this illegally. Until a new tax structure is agreed to, he argues, all casinos are not able to operate.
This issue is now being fought in court. Attempts at negotiations have been ongoing. According to most reports, however, no real progress has been made.
It’s unclear when this legal fight between the tribes and lawmakers will end. In the meantime, several major tribal groups in the state continue pushing to open new casinos. We’re just receiving an update on another major casino-resort set to open here this year.
More Information About the Kingston Casino Resort is Coming Out
Oklahoma is home to a huge number of popular casino-resorts. Historically speaking, these venues have brought the state a huge amount of revenue. These casinos also help to draw in many visitors from nearby states such as Texas.
For years, the Chickasaw Nation has discussed plans to open a new casino-resorts on the shores of Lake Texoma. The tribe has been asking state officials for permission to open this new venue. Now, it seems that the Kingston Casino Resort will officially open at some point this year.
More information about this casino-resort is starting to come out. According to new reports, it will feature more than 9,600 square feet of gaming space, a 40-room hotel, and 10 rental cabins. Many expect this to become a highly popular venue due to its location.
Back in March, the Chickasaw Nation looked at how the opening of this casino would impact the local area. The tribe then claimed to have purchased a 62-acre plot of land to build it on. Before construction can begin, however, the land needs to be placed under federal trade status in order to comply with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The Kingston Casino Resort will generate $58 million in economic impact during its first year of operating, according to the Chickasaw Nation. Some analysts are now wondering whether or not the opening of this venue will be possible at all this year due to current regulations.
When Will Oklahoma’s Casino Industry Open Back Up?
Across the country, land-based casinos have been forced to close their doors. This is due to the new coronavirus spreading around the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people have been infected here, despite extreme measures taken in almost every state.
In Oklahoma, all casinos have been closed to the public for weeks. This has been devastating for many tribes that rely on casino revenue to operate normally. Unfortunately, it’s unclear when these current restrictions will be lifted.
More than 2,000 people in Oklahoma have already tested positive for Covid-19. That number is likely to increase as time goes on. Until a major reduction in cases is seen, casinos here will remain closed.
How exactly this will affect the opening of the Kingston Casino Resort is unknown. As we mentioned earlier, the initial plan was to construct and open this new property in 2020. The longer that casinos are forced to be closed here, the more difficult it will be to start building a new gaming venue.
It’s also disappointing news for the Cherokee Tribe, who plan on opening a new casino in Pope County this year.
Hopefully, things begin to improve before too long. Oklahoma’s casino industry is one of the biggest in the country. The state economy will benefit greatly once these casinos here are back up and running.
Stay tuned for more Oklahoma casino news over the next few weeks!