Chickasaw Nation’s casino partner has bought 216 more acres near the state’s largest American Indian gaming center.

The latest land purchase — the third this year near the WinStar Casino by MegaBingo Inc. — propels expectations of a gambling destination resort.

The Chickasaw Nation is building a motel next door and has discussed building two larger hotels and a golf course. Tribal spokeswoman Robyn Elliott said the tribe is still developing its plans for the land and isn’t ready to disclose them.

A golf course or some other attraction would make WinStar the state’s second multifaceted casino resort.

The Cherokee Nation recently opened a resort along Interstate 44 at Catoosa that includes a seven-story hotel, a golf course and 80,000 square feet of gambling.

WinStar opened in July 2003 with 1,100 electronic gambling machines. A recent addition increased that number to 2,400, far more than any other Oklahoma casino.

A 1,600-seat theater and an Italian restaurant are part of the recent addition. Elliott said the tribe recently hired more than 300 new workers for the extra gaming space and the new amenities.

Tribal officials expect total employment for the complex to top 1,500, with an annual payroll exceeding $15 million.

Under federal law, Indian gaming revenue must be spent along five general guidelines, two of which are to fund tribal government and to donate to other local governments.

Elliott said the Chickasaw Nation has made numerous contributions from its business revenues, the largest part of which comes from gaming.

Entities that have received at least $10,000 include the Love County ambulance service, Ardmore Christian Schools, Lone Grove Public Schools, Ardmore Christian Schools and Ardmore Anti-Crime Program.

Additionally, the tribe plans to build an ambulance annex on its WinStar property to provide better emergency access to casino customers and to rural towns along the Love County/Texas border.

MegaBingo’s parent company, Multimedia Games Inc., financed the WinStar’s construction through an agreement that guarantees 80 percent of the casino’s gaming floor space to Multimedia’s electronic machines.

The company leases its machines to the casino and receives a percentage of the net-win, or the amount each machine makes after paying winners.

Love County land records show MegaBingo bought 216 acres Oct. 21 from Joseph and Kelli Neave for nearly $1.4 million. The land is about three miles north of Texas near Interstate 35.

Joseph Neave is a professional polo player who owns a horse ranch near the casino, sources said. Calls to his home weren’t returned.

MegaBingo previously bought 118 acres near the WinStar from other owners through two purchases, then conveyed each parcel to the tribe.

Elliott said the tribe made no direct payments for the land, but that Multimedia Games may receive financial benefit through the tribe’s development agreement with the company.

Multimedia Games representatives didn’t respond to several requests for comment.


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