Top officials in Oklahoma continue to insist they need to negotiate a new Class III gaming compact with tribes.
Gov. Kevin Stitt (R), who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, believes the compacts start to expire on January 1, 2020. With the deadline fast approaching, he's hoping to force tribes to come to the table and share more of their revenues with the state.
But after Stitt sent Attorney General Mike Hunter (R) to an initial meeting with tribal officials on Monday, little was resolved, according to news reports. Additional gatherings, however, are being planned.
"When we are all working together, I am confident the state and Oklahoma’s 39 tribes can achieve a win-win for all 4 million Oklahomans," Stitt, who took office in January, said in a statement on Monday
Since 2004, when voters approved Class III gaming, tribes have paid $1.28
billion to the state, according to the Oklahoma
Gaming Compliance Unit's most recent report
. The money is derived from a
percentage of electronic gaming revenue, as well as table game revenue.
"For the first $10 million in revenue, tribes pay 4 percent to the state;
for the next $10 million, the payment is 5 percent; and for revenues more than
$20 million, the payment is 6 percent. Tribes pay 10 percent of the monthly net
win from table games," the report reads.
The state defines such payments to be "exclusivity
." The tribes share revenues based on the promise that they are the
exclusive operators of Class III games like slot machines, as well as table
games like blackjack and poker.
Such provisions are common in Class III gaming compacts even though
revenue sharing is not explicitly authorized by the Indian
Gaming Regulatory Act
of Indian Affairs
, in determining whether a compact is legal, looks to see
whether a state has promised tribes something "meaningful" in return, such as
Revenue sharing rates range from a low of 0 percent to a high of 25
percent, according to a Government
Accountability Office report from 2015
. Although Stitt has pointed to rates
on the higher end of the scale, the majority of the compacts examined by the GAO
at the time fell in the same range as Oklahoma's current agreement -- somewhere
between 10 percent and 14.9 percent, and below.
Read More on the Story
State, tribes hold historic meeting on gaming compacts: 'You have to walk before you can run'
(The Tulsa World October 29, 2019)
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter discusses gaming compacts with tribal leaders
(The Oklahoman October 29, 2019)
Tribes start casino gambling negotiations with Oklahoma
(The Associated Press October 29, 2019)
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