Casino debate continues

Tuesday, June 3rd 2008, 11:36 pm
By: News 9

By Stacey Cameron, NEWS 9

The debate continues about the Shawnee Tribe's plan to build a casino in northeast Oklahoma City.

At a community meeting Tuesday, racing enthusiasts and community members expressed concerns that the casino would cripple Remington Park and the local economy.

The tribe announced earlier this year plans to build a $400 million casino resort two miles from the park.

Phill Stewart, president of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association, said he fears the casino could hurt the racing industry.

"It'll be devastating; it'll ruin Remington Park," he said. "If we lose Remington Park, we lose horse racing in Oklahoma."

Gloria Griffin, superintendent of the Millwood School District is worried the educators could lose the $20 million in taxes Remington Park contributes to education.

"That means the state will have to give us more money," she said.

Griffin and local lawmakers are urging people to write the Bureau of Indian Affairs to express their opposition to the proposal. Letters must be postmarked by this weekend in order to be accepted by the bureau as it considers the tribe's proposal.

Since the tribe isn't from the Oklahoma City area, the bureau must approve the land purchase and other parts of the casino plan.