Oklahoma, Louisiana Floods Impact Casinos

Severe flooding in Oklahoma led the Comanche Nation to close its Comanche Nation Casino in Lawton for a day on May 24. In addition, the Apache Nation rescheduled its Memorial Day Truck Giveaway at the Apache Casino Hotel to Sunday, May 31. And Louisiana State Police are monitoring Mississippi River conditions to determine if casinos should close.

Due to recent severe flooding in Oklahoma, the Comanche Nation closed its Comanche Nation Casino in Lawton on Sunday, May 24. The property reopened on May 25. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our amazing staff, we’re dry,” the casino posted on Facebook. The tribe’s Comanche Red River Casino and Hotel in Devol was not closed but its phones temporarily were down on May 24, according to another Facebook post.

Comanche Chairman Wallace Coffey declared an emergency in response to record-setting rain and dangerous flooding conditions. The Comanche Nation Community Center in Walters was designated as an emergency shelter for flood victims. “We are doing all we can to assist the people who are affected by flooding,” Vice Chairman Mack Mahsetky said.

Also due to flooding, the Apache Casino Hotel rescheduled its Memorial Day Truck Giveaway scheduled for Monday, May 25 to Sunday, May 31. In a statement, tribal officials said, “We must recognize that we are faced with what could be the worst flooding in Oklahoma’s history and the safety and well-being of both our customers is tantamount. Everyone and their families need the opportunity and the time to deal with these adverse conditions and/or take the time to help their family, neighbors and co-workers through our current challenges.”

The extreme weather affected parts of Texas, Oklahoma and other Midwestern states where dozens of people have been killed or are missing.

In Louisiana, the State Police are closely watching Mississippi River conditions in Shreveport-Bossier City to determine if casinos should close due to high water. State Police would make the ultimate decision about closing the casinos. State Police Trooper Matt Harris said, “Basically, we’re continuing to monitor the situation and the ramps coming into the river. Boats will be moved accordingly to accommodate the rising waters. The number one goal here is the safety of patrons and employees of the casinos.” For now, he said, casinos are operating as usual.