Editorial: No to Panhandle tribal casino

In one of the final acts of the Obama Administration, the Department of the Interior decided to fast-track a tribal casino in Guymon Oklahoma, more than 400 miles away from the headquarters of the Shawnee Tribe.

The Department of Interior intends to place the land into trust for gambling.  Governor Fallin has one year to agree or not, based on the state compact with the tribes.

Former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, who in 2005 authored legislation to stop the Shawnee Tribe from building a casino in Oklahoma City, doesn’t want a casino in Guymon.  Fallin opposed the Oklahoma City casino when she was in Congress in 2008.

“The provision that the tribe is now exploiting … was never intended as a blank check for the tribe to go reservation shopping in unassigned lands,” Coburn said. “The Guymon proposal must be recognized as another illegitimate attempt to build in an area where it has no historic connection.”

Local city councils, county officials and others have formally protested to the federal government. Even officials in Texhoma, Texas, don’t want this casino.

Based in Miami, Oklahoma, the Shawnee Tribe is actually closer to Des Moines, Omaha, Memphis, Dallas and Tupelo, Mississippi than they are to Guymon in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Let’s hope the Trump Administration will say no.