Tribal Legal Oklahoma AG: Governor cannot divert gaming revenue March 10, 2020 By Ezra Amacher Oklahoma’s Attorney General issued an opinion stating that Governor Kevin Stitt cannot divert gaming revenues as the state and tribes continue a dispute over gaming compacts. Stitt recently proposed diverting gaming revenues into an escrow account pending a federal ruling on the expiration of gaming compacts. Attorney General Mike Hunter wrote in his opinion: “We are not aware of any authority by which the State can deposit these monies in any fund other than those already mentioned.” Some tribes filed a lawsuit against Stitt on December 31, arguing that the expiring gaming compacts automatically rolled over to 2020. Tribes pay the state exclusivity fees ranging from 4% to 10% for Class III gaming operations. Stitt believes that the gaming compacts expired at the end of 2019. He hopes to significantly raise the rate of exclusivity fees. The majority of fees go to Oklahoma’s education system. Stitt responded to Hunter’s opinion, saying: “I am grateful the attorney general has agreed there is a way to protect public education funding without jeopardizing the legal position of the state. It is important that our schools not be caught in the middle while we work toward a long-term solution.” Tribes are currently paying the state exclusivity fees on a month-to-month basis.