Henry opposes plans for casino

Friday, June 6th 2008, 8:55 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

Governor Henry released a letter Friday stating that if the Shawnee Tribe builds a casino next to Remington Park, it could be disastrous to the state.

Henry does not support the Shawnee Tribe's plan to build the $400 million casino and hotel along Interstate 35 near the race track.

In his letter he wrote that he's believes the casino could be "severely detrimental to the state of Oklahoma, the city of Oklahoma City, the horse industry, and other tribes in Oklahoma."

The letter was released after the members of the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma met face-to-face with Henry. The group feared if the casino is build, Remington Park and the horse racing industry will die.

In his letter, the Governor also wrote that the new casino will result in a significant loss of state revenue and funding for education.

He said the traffic the casino would bring in will also stress the infrastructure of Oklahoma City.

He goes on the say that it violates a 2004 gaming compact that balanced the needs and concerns of the state, the horse industry and the tribes.

The Governor released the letter as the 30-day comment period the Bureau of Indian Affairs opened to the public concerning the potential project comes to an end.

The comments will be factored into the final decision of whether or now the land near Remington Park will be put into trust for the tribe.