Oklahoma gives green light to Panhandle casino

Slot Machine (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Gov. Mary Fallin is giving her approval to a federal agency’s decision that paves the way for the Shawnee Tribe to build a $25 million casino near Guymon in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Fallin announced Tuesday that she agrees with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs’ decision to place a tract of land 4 miles southwest of Guymon into trust for the Oklahoma-based tribe, which has no jurisdictional land of its own.

Plans to build the 42,000-square-foot Golden Mesa Casino near Guymon drew some opposition, including from state Sen. Bryce Marlatt of Woodward who complained the Shawnee Tribe had no historical ties to the area.

Casino supporters say the facility will create 175 jobs and draw visitors from the Texas Panhandle, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas.