GUYMON, OK - Days after Governor Mary Fallin gave her final approval of the Golden Mesa project in Guymon, 1,800 people in the immediate area signed a a petition against the casino's construction.
Their main concerns are the negative impact it will have on area students, lack of government regulation and loss to local economies trying to compete with a tax free business.
"I feel disappointed and let down because all our concerns fell on deaf ears," said attorney Christopher Liebman. "We not only called, but sent letters in at a ratio of nine-to-one against the casino and we really didn't get our voices heard."
Shawnee Tribe Chief Ron Sparkman released this statement regarding the Casino's involvement in the panhandle.
"As we look ahead, we will extend the hand of friendship and partnership to the citizens of the Panhandle," Sparkman said. "As I've said on many occasions, we pledge to be a good community by running a responsible enterprise with our respected operator."
Despite the statement, many residents are not convinced the Golden Mesa Casino will be a benefit to the area.
"We provided factual evidence but it was overlooked," said Lucinda Ray, a community leader against the project. "The approval was disappointing but we're not backing off or backing down, until they open the doors it is not a done deal."