It’s been a long time coming for the Osage Nation. The tribe’s Osage Casino in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is scheduled to have its soft opening on Oct. 4, more than two years after construction began in 2021.
Osage Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear broke the news at a Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce luncheon this month, according to the Pawhuska Journal-Capital.
Additionally, Standing Bear said that the tribe plans to finalize its rebuild of Osage Casino Bartlesville in a few months. That will give the tribe a pair of casinos within 30 minutes of each other.
“At the heart of Osage Casinos is a dedication to supporting our Nation,” Osage Casinos CEO Kimberly Pearson said in a press release obtained by PlayUSA. “As Pawhuska continues to expand, this new property is our chance to give back to our people and showcase Osage culture.”
The Pawhuska and Bartlesville casinos are new builds that will replace existing casinos in the two towns. The new properties will offer amenities the current locations do not, such as hotels and pools.
Supply-chain issues led to construction delays for Osage casinos
In what was an ambitious endeavor, the Osage Nation started construction on its Bartlesville and Pawhuska casinos in June 2021, just a year after the start of the pandemic shuttered casinos across the country.
At the time, the tribe planned to complete construction in the fall of 2022. However, it ran into frustrating supply-chain issues and had to push back the opening dates from fall 2022 to fall 2023.
Osage Casinos then–CEO Byron Bighorse lamented the delays in comments he provided for a story in the tribe’s newspaper. He said:
“Both of these new properties in Bartlesville and Pawhuska have been highly anticipated as the demand for our casinos continues to grow. Unfortunately, supply chain issues have created a delay that we could not avoid.”
He went on to say that the tribe had been bitten by the “supply chain bug” and that the delay was “a reality check for everybody.”
Pawhuska opening bumps Osage tribal casino total to seven
The Osage Nation runs tribal casinos in seven cities in Oklahoma:
- Sand Springs
- Ponca City
The Tulsa property is the tribe’s flagship casino—its more than 1,600 electronic games are 1,000 more than any other casino in the tribe’s portfolio.
The tribe’s Pawhuska casino currently offers the fewest electronic machines at around 175 terminals. Bartlesville, however, has the third-most electronic machines among Osage casinos at around 450 machines.
That number is expected to be 500 when the new casino opens, according to a 2022 report from the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise.