Ground was broken Tuesday on a tribal gambling and entertainment complex in Hochatown, Okla. called Choctaw Landing. The venue is another Choctaw Nation gaming property within a drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
When complete late next year, the 200,000-square-foot gaming property will have 600 slots, a hotel, restaurants, and an outdoor amphitheater.
The hotel will have 100 guest rooms. The casino floor will have eight table games. There will be a 12,000-square-foot retail complex, too.
The four-story property will cost $165 million to construct. It will lead to over 2,000 new jobs.
Hochatown is about 180 miles northeast of Dallas. Texas has no commercial gambling, and legislative proposals for casinos in Texas have met strong opposition. Supporters of Texas gambling expansion point to how residents travel to Oklahoma and other states to gamble. That is lost revenue for Texas, they add.
Earlier this month, Janie Dillard, senior executive officer for Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, said in a statement that the new property “promises to be an amazing entertainment destination for Oklahomans and our friends and neighbors in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.”
Much attention has been given to the tribe’s heritage and the region’s natural beauty in designing the new property. Native trees and plants will be found on the grounds. Tribal art and historical displays will be included in the casino complex.
Hochatown is actually the location of a Choctaw village. Choctaw tribal members live in the area.
Manhattan Construction Company and JCJ Architecture were awarded the contracts for the project.
“Choctaw Landing will provide significant opportunities for local residents — and the future availability and quality of this hotel will not only attract business, but tourism opportunities for Choctaw Nation Reservation in Southeast Oklahoma,” Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton said in a statement.
Choctaw Casino Expansion
Last year, a 1,000-room, 21-story hotel tower was opened at Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Okla. It is about 100 miles north of Dallas.
The $600 million project also expanded the Durant casino’s gaming floor. The expansion also added 3,300 new slots. That brings the total number of slots to more than 7,200.
The casino also added 40 new table games, and a poker room with 30 tables. Now, there are 136 tables for gambling at the casino.
Choctaw Nation is the third-largest tribal nation in the US. It has more than 200,000 members.
As of January 2021, a University of Houston Hobby School poll found that 58 percent of Texans favor allowing full casino gambling in Texas. Another 18 percent support a limited expansion of gambling on the state’s three Indian reservations and at existing horse and dog tracks.
In addition, Las Vegas Sands supports gambling expansion in Texas. The company has lobbied for pro-gaming legislation.
When asked about the issue, Mark P. Jones, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, predicted last year to Casino.org that “gambling legalization will remain an issue in Texas politics until such time that casino gambling is legalized.”
“However, a full one-third of Texas Republicans want to leave the gambling laws as they stand (or reverse them), and even pragmatic Texas Republicans have some concern that, were they to vote in favor of casino gambling, that the vote could harm them in future Republican primaries,” Jones said.
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