The American tribe is on track to get the approval it needs from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
US.- The Shawnee Tribe announced in 2016 its plans to build a US$25 million gambling facility in Guymon, Oklahoma, and after a year, the Native American organisation is close to obtaining the permits it needs to move forward.
The Golden Mesa Casino was cleared from having to obtain a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in November, after the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) stated that based on the Environmental Assessment for the tribe determined that the proposed facility would not have an important impact on the environment. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) determines that the casino still needs the approval from the state governor in order to move forward with the construction.
The Golden Mesa Casino would feature a 42,310 square feet venue, and it would be located in Guymon, 400 miles away from the Shawnee tribe’s headquarters in Oklahoma. The Oklahoman reported that Senator Bryce Marlatt is still not okay with the idea: “This would be a terrible precedent by the federal government to allow tribal gambling in lands where tribes have no historical ties. This could open a floodgate of casinos and other tribal ventures on almost every corner in Oklahoma. This move is also concerning to citizens in the Panhandle because of the societal ills associated with the proliferation of gambling,” he said.
Back in 2000, US Senator Jim Inhofe gave the tribe the rights to secure a land outside the jurisdiction of other tribes, since the Shawnee Tribe had no properties of its own. The decision was based on a clause that determined that they would obtain it as long as it’s essential to their economic well-being. The next administration would need to approve the determination under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act before the Oklahoma governor could give the final okay.