Choctaws Look To Expand Casino

Sunday, November 25th 2007, 3:29 pm
By: News On 6

DURANT, Okla. (AP) -- The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma plans to build a hotel atop its newly expanded casino, part of a project that also will add 3,000 more electronic gambling machines to the facility. The American Indian tribe finished its most recent expansion of the casino in January 2006, but the tribe's gaming director, Janie
Dillard, said the Choctaws "built too small." The planned expansion will include the dismantling of the current casino and the addition of 300,000 square feet.

"Nobody dreamed we'd need more machines when we built this facility, but on weekends, they (gamblers) are lined up three or four deep at the machines," Dillard said.

The 10-story, 350-room hotel is seen as the first phase in the creation of a destination resort. The project also will include a large pool area that will feature a lazy river, a swim-up soda bar and a water slide.

Construction is expected to begin in January and should be finished sometime in 2010. Later plans call for the addition of a 780-space parking garage.

The complete expansion will be done in four or five phases through 2015, Dillard said.