April 21, 2020 Tribal, Legal

Oklahoma Governor signs "modernized gaming compact" with two tribes

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Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has signed a new gaming compact with the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and Comanche Nation.

Stitt had previously been involved in a dispute with Oklahoma tribes, with a legal case still pending, over the signing of a new compact he hoped would represent a greater contribution towards state tax revenue.

In August, Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Executive Director Sheila Morago told Gaming America 29 tribes had signed a letter in disagreement with Stitt's views.

Those still opposing the Governor believe tribal compacts with the state automatically renew under existing terms if an agreement on new conditions cannot be reached.

In late March, meanwhile, Stitt stood accused of trying to "exploit the current pandemic" to "divide the tribes" of Oklahoma, following a letter from his office urging them to "stand together" and agree a new compact.

However, Stitt has now reached an agreement with Otoe-Missourai Tribe Chairman John Shotton and Comanche Nation Chairman William Nelson, to "establish clarity and certainty" and  "expand gaming opportunities" for the two tribes.

The Governor said: "The State is grateful and honored to partner the Otoe-Missouria Tribe as we establish a modernized gaming compact: that expands opportunities for our tribal partners; that enhances revenue for the State from Class III and Covered Games; and that will strengthen State-Tribal relations for generations to come."

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