Editorial: Tulsa’s moral decline is deepening

Is Tulsa the new Las Vegas?

That seems to be the goal of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

In August, the tribe opened the first part of Jimmy Buffett’s Maragaritaville and took a big step toward promoting casino gambling and massive consumption of alcohol.

Isn’t that the goal of Las Vegas?

Is Tulsa, which used to be the “Oil Capital of the World,” changing its motto to, “What happens in Tulsa, stays in Tulsa?”

Promoters and local elected officials claim the new casino/bar expansion will bring tens of millions of dollars in tourism to the Tulsa. Some local restaurants and bars are fearful it will mostly just draw their business away to a location that doesn’t pay property taxes because it is on tribal land.

The casino claims it will create at least 1,000 new jobs and will have a regional draw. But will Texans drive all the way to Tulsa when there are similar gigantic casinos on the Red River and near Oklahoma City? Will Arkansans drive another 80 miles to Tulsa when there are much closer tribal casinos on the state border? The same is true for Kansas and Missouri.

The underlying message here from the tribes, the chamber and the Tulsa’s elected leaders is that the way to prosperity is to mimic Las Vegas and promote gambling and drunkenness.

Is this “economic development” or “moral decline?”