|Updated: 1/13/2012 5:55 pm
||Published: 1/12/2012 9:13 pm
Earlier this week, FOX23 heard from several sources that the Muscogee Creek Nation was in negotiations to buy a piece of land near 111th Street and Yale Avenue in South Tulsa with plans to construct a casino.
Thursday afternoon, FOX23’s Adam Paluka spoke with Edwin Marshall, Muscogee Creek Nation's Chief of Staff, who said “We have no intentions to build a casino at 111th and Yale.”
District 8 Tulsa City councilor Phil Lakin, whose district includes the area where the casino was rumored to be going, is breathing a little easier Thursday evening.
“It's important that yes, they say they're not interested, but it's important everybody else say they're not interested,” Lakin told FOX23.
Earlier this week, Congressman John Sullivan told FOX23 he believed the Muscogee Creek Nation would buy that parcel of land and eventually build a casino, but on Thursday, the Creek nation says that's not the plan. Instead, the tribe plans to focus on upgrades and improvements to the River Spirit casino facility. Lakin believes where there's smoke there's fire.
“There was enough independent sources saying that something could be going up on that property that was not residential.”
When asked if the rumors circulating earlier this week about a casino being built here was fear mongering, Lakin said, “I don't know if you can call it fear mongering because what we have in Broken Arrow is something that is actually happening.”
Like the fight in Broken Arrow, Lakin doesn't think this is the last we'll hear about possible casino development plans on that eight acre plot of land.
“Oh. I don't think it's over.”
The land is now zoned residential and could go to the highest bidder according to Lakin.
“It's almost casino shopping where a landowner is going out and trying to get a different tribe, a smaller tribe, to put something on a piece of property that's not even zoned commercial.”
He says what's happening in Broken Arrow is a tough lesson. When it comes to tribal casinos the rules, and the players, may have changed.
“We still have to protect ourselves from these other offshoots, these other tribes that could be out there wanting to shop around for this opportunity,” Lakin said.
Lakin's encouraging people who live near the South Tulsa piece of land to write to federal and state legislators and ask them to push for tougher restrictions when it comes to new casinos being built near schools, churches, and existing homes.