Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Chickasaw Nation Expresses Interest in Texas Horse Racing

As the wise and talented Superfecta astutely noted today: Belmont week is upon us.

And this brings up a very timely subject matter: The Chickasaw Nation is initiating their plan for world domination.

It was a mere couple of days ago that the articulate and unpretentious turf professor, Gary West, reported in his column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (motto: Amon Carter will haunt us if we cease publishing.) that the Chickasaw Nation filed an "expression of interest" in purchasing Remington Park in Oklahoma City and Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, both of these properties being "available" in part because some "ninny" drove Magna Entertainment into "Chapter 11".

I found this piece of information quite interesting because (1) the Chickasaw Nation / Global Gaming Solutions has professed that they are not "experts in horse racing" and (2) the Chickasaw Nation, geographically speaking, is located in south-central Oklahoma, not Texas.

Using intrepid researching tools, i.e., Google and Merlot, I discovered that the Chickasaw Nation just opened their 18th – and largest – casino in Norman, Oklahoma. And the Chickasaw Nation prides itself as having casinos that offer "the best in electronic gaming, poker, blackjack, off-track betting and great dinning [sic] options," and that "these casinos also provide exciting venues, events and promotions that ensure you will have a great time." A complete casino listing is available on the Chickasaw Nation website. Observe that WinStar World Casino has opted not to include the multitude of Texas cars in its parking lot.

So the question begs: How does an expression of interest to purchase two horse racing tracks in a bankruptcy court lead to world conquest?

Using the same tools as above, let’s look at the facts.

First and foremost, the Chickasaw are clearly very proud. And they should be. Their website touts its Word of the Day. For example, let’s look at today’s Word of the Day:

    Word of the Day
    Chickasaw: shaachi
    English: to scrape
    Part of Speech: verb

    Sentence: Railbird Roy had to shaachi a couple of bucks to place a wager on the 5th race at Belmont.

One can theorize that there is a subliminal effort to make individuals, especially gamblers and horseplayers, to be bilingual. Trilingual if you’re from Jersey.

Secondly and more importantly, the Chickasaw Nation just opened the largest casino in Oklahoma, Riverwind Casino, and already has Lee Ann Womack booked for a June 19th gig. Interestingly enough, Riverwind Casino is only 31.1 miles south of Remington Park. Remington Park, of course, not only offers horse racing, but also has a casino. So why would the Chickasaw Nation be interested in pursuing a racetrack and/or casino only a few miles away from their newest hot-spot? Could it be that Remington Park Racing / Casino, located in Oklahoma County, is not within the Chickasaw Nation boundary?

And what of Lone Star Park? It’s in Texas. As if the Chickasaw Nation isn’t absconding with enough Texas money at the WinStar Casino on the other side of the Red River.

Clearly, there is evidence of Chickasaw Nation casino expansion. And my main concern with their foray into horse racing venues is that it may not be about horse racing at all, but the slots and gaming. If I were to take a good healthy guess, the Chickasaw Nation has probably been a huge contributor to the Texas Anti-Slots/Casino lobby. The Texas Legislature just adjourned and what did they do for Texas Horsemen during this past session? Bubkes. TexasHORSE went through an extensive collaborative effort, not to mention a pretty good video featuring Lyle Lovett, to obtain some much needed monies to be competitive with neighboring states only to come up empty-handed. One can speculate that should the Chickasaw Nation operate Lone Star Park where there is a potential for expanded gaming in the future, they’ll draft their own gaming bill, along with a video featuring Lee Ann Womack, REO Speedwagon, and Governor Rick Perry, and it may not be in the horsemen’s best interest. As Global Gaming Solutions CEO, John Elliot said,

"Everything the nation does and everything the businesses of the nations do, those monies are either reinvested in the business themselves, or they are used to provide services for the Chickasaw people."

Oh, good. Either they’ll be beneficial for horsemen and horse racing, or they’ll improve their healthcare in Ada, Oklahoma.

Anyway, the process to acquire the racetracks will require a few months. I guess we’ll just hachilhinko*.


    *hachilhinko means "you are all fat". I couldn't find the Chickasaw translation for "wait and see"

    No comments: