Oklahoma gaming hearing to analyze lawsuit over Tribal sports betting compact

November 7, 2023

Lawmakers will spend two days scrutinizing a sports betting compact between Oklahoma and Tribal nations.

Lawmakers are expected to spend two days scrutinizing Oklahoma’s compacts with Tribal nations, as the state tries to finalize who has the authority to sign sports betting compacts on behalf of the state. 

This news comes following the continued developments in Oklahoma concerning Governor Kevin Stitt and local Tribes. House hearings are expected to begin today.  

In the case so far, the Joint Committee on State-Tribal Relations met on October 25 and concluded that compacts submitted by Gov. Stitt could not be greenlit. These two compacts, concerning Kialegee Tribal Town and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, were struck in 2020. However, legislative leaders filed a lawsuit against Stitt for overstepping his authority on the matter. 

The lawsuit has continued into the current legal case seen today, with the governor, local Tribe leaders and state legal bodies coming together to try and find a conclusion. 

It has been noted that Gov. Stitt has remained steadfast in his beliefs regarding the compacts, which has caused negotiations to be slow due to limited compromises. Lawmakers have also considered limiting the Governor's ability to represent Oklahoma in future.  

One lawmaker involved in the case is AG Gentner Drummond. Joining the Tribal gaming lawsuit earlier this year, he said, "As determined by our Supreme Court, Governor Stitt’s actions are in violation of Oklahoma law, and his attempts to seek federal bureaucratic authorization of those compacts resulted in a federal lawsuit.” 

The matter has been further complicated by Gov. Stitt’s support of online sports betting in the state. Representatives of most Tribal operations in the state, The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA), said Stitt did not consult them on this proposal.  


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