The town of Newkirk located in Kay County, Oklahoma, near the Kansas-Oklahoma border is becoming a miniature Las Vegas. Currently four tribal casinos are located in and around the town and more are coming.
Ponca Tribe officials plan to begin construction on a 50,000 square foot casino hotel project May 1. The casino will be located off of U.S. 77 on State Line Road near the state line.
Sevaral roads in the area will be improved as a result of the construction.
The Ponca Tribe currently operates Blue Star Casino located south of Ponca City in Kay County.
The Kaw Tribe is planning to build its second casino in the area.
Kay County officials recently approved a notice of intent to prepare an environmental assessment for the Kaw Tribe. A Kay County official said the tribe plans to take 21 acres of land near Braman, Okla. and make it federal land with the intent of building a casino and hotel. Kaw Nation currently operates Kaw Southwind Casino in Newkirk.
On March 4, Tonkawa, Okla. officials heard from Tonkawa tribal attorney Ken Bellmard and casino management representative B.J. Richardson regarding plans to build a casino and hotel near Tonkawa on Interstate 35.
Bellmard explained the documents would be used in support of the Tonkawa Tribe’s petition seeking federal government approval of trust land status of acreage at the southwest corner of the intersection of I-35 and U.S. 60. The tribe presently owns 10 acres and has an option to purchase an additional 118 acres from land owners.
Casino management representative Richardson said plans were for a 50,000 to 75,000 square foot casino plus a 200-room hotel. The facilities would employ several hundred people. He stressed that community input would be sought throughout the process so that any concerns could be addressed.
The Tonkawa Tribe currently operates Native Lights Casino located north of Newkirk on U.S. 77 and the Tonkawa Casino east of Tonkawa located off of Highway 60.
Other casinos in the Kay County area include the Otoe Missouria Tribe’s Lil Bit of Paradise and First Council Casino located side by side north of Newkirk on U.S. 77.
First Council Casino currently offers a full buffet as well as poker and blackjack tables. The Otoe’s also operate the 7 Clans casino and another small casino south of Ponca City on U.S. 77.
Just outside Kay County in Osage County is the Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino. The Osage Tribes hopes to expand this casino soon.