Newly opened $600M gaming floor at Oklahoma’s Choctaw Casino Resort targets Texas gamblers
The recently opened $600 million hotel & gaming floor at Oklahoma’s Choctaw Casino & Resort is being seen as an effort of the operator to allure gambling enthusiasts from nearby North Texas. The Durant, Oklahoma-based new gaming property is situated just around fourteen miles from Texas border. Its distance from the city of Dallas is roughly 88 miles.
As casino gambling in any form is illegal in Texas, the state’s gambling enthusiasts often travel to Oklahoma to enjoy slot machines, poker, roulette, blackjack. In Texas, all forms of casino gambling are considered against the law. Thus, Texans account for a vast majority of casino gambling in Oklahoma.
The addition of the new hotel & gaming floor at Oklahoma’s Choctaw Casino & Resort offers a 21-story hotel with 1,000 rooms, more slot machines, gaming tables and other gambling options, in addition to additional dining spaces and restaurants. It also offers a collection of Choctaw art.
Clyde Barrow, Political Science Department Chairperson at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, predicted that the new Oklahoma facility would attract more Texans. According to his estimates, Texans are already spending $2.5 to $3.0 billion per annum at casinos in Oklahoma. He stressed that Oklahoma gaming properties have long depended on Texan gamers.
Echoing Barrow’s views, Pol. Sci. Fellow Mark P. Jones at Rice University’s Baker Institute, added that the large population of Texas would help the casino industry of Oklahoma.
Speaking on the topic, “This is no surprise at all. The Dallas Fort Worth [DFW] Metroplex has 6.4 million residents. When you add in adjacent areas of North Texas, the total population in the region is twice that of the entire state of Oklahoma.”
Jones added that most of the Oklahoma casinos, particularly in the southern part of the state, wouldn’t be economically viable without Texan gamers.
Multiple casino companies, including Las Vegas Sands, have repeatedly made attempts to open commercial gaming properties in the Lone Star State. But severe criticism and opposition from certain local groups and politicians have thus far prevented those attempts from getting enacted.
Proposals to grant legal status to casino gambling will not be back on the Texas legislative agenda until 2023. In absence of any other local gaming option, the Lone Star State gamers will undoubtedly continue to visit neighboring states like Oklahoma for recreation.
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