Tribe proposes Tulsa gaming complex

Friday, December 17th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Preliminary plans by the Osage Nation to open a gaming complex in the Gilcrease Hills area are drawing opposition from some residents in the Tulsa neighborhood. The proposed complex would occupy a former Food Lion grocery store.

The Cherokees and Choctaws tribes already operate gaming centers in the Tulsa area. "I don't want any gambling in my neighborhood," said Laurie Smith, who lives in Gilcrease Hills. "I think gambling preys on the poor. It's not what I want to add to my community. I want something positive in my community."

Citizens planned to voice concerns at a Tulsa City Council meeting. Osage Chief Charles Tillman said the project is in the early stages and subject to regulatory approval. The tribe planned to talk with residents and community leaders before moving forward with the plan, he said. "It is too early to say exactly how many jobs this project would create, but we anticipate it will be between 130 to 150 well-paying positions with a projected payroll in excess of $3.5 million," he said.

Class II gaming includes bingo and electronic bingo. The tribe expects it would be at least nine months before any facility is operational.