In Oklahoma, the Comanche Nation has reportedly warned that revenues from its Comanche Red River Hotel and Casino could fall by as much as 25% if the fellow federally-recognized Chickasaw Nation is permitted to open its nearby RiverStar Casino.
According to a Monday report from Indianz.com citing a story from The Lawton Constitution newspaper, the Comanche Red River Hotel and Casino, which sits just outside the small community of Devol, brings in almost 60% of the Comanche Nation’s annual budget and any drop in its revenues would almost certainly negatively impact payments to tribal members as well as funding for key services and programs.
Being built in the Jefferson County town of Terral some 45 miles from the Comanche Red River Hotel and Casino, the 18,930 sq ft RiverStar Casino is purportedly due to feature a gift shop, restaurant and bar while its casino is to offer some 630 slots alongside a selection of gaming tables. The $10 million facility will be located less than two miles from Oklahoma’s border with Texas and has reportedly already begun hiring staff in advance of a planned opening later this year.
In hopes of stopping the RiverStar Casino from opening, last year reportedly saw the Comanche Nation file a federal lawsuit against Ryan Zinke, the Secretary for the United States Department of the Interior, challenging the original land-into-trust decision granted to the Chickasaw Nation in January of 2017. This action is now purportedly due to be heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit soon with the plaintiff moreover seeking a preliminary injunction against the RiverStar Casino commencing any operations.
In addition to the Comanche Red River Hotel and Casino, the Comanche Nation reportedly operates gambling facilities in the small Oklahoma communities of Elgin, Lawton and Walters while moreover owning land less than ten miles from the RiverStar Casino site. In stark contrast, the Chickasaw Nation is purportedly the largest tribal casino operator in the United States with almost two dozen properties across ‘The Sooner State’ including the Riverwind Casino, Chisholm Trail Casino and WinStar World Casino and Resort.