Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association
Posted: March 27, 2020

A statement from Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Chairman Matthew L. Morgan about Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) and his efforts to force Class III gaming compact negotiations by citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are disappointed in the action taken by Governor Stitt through one of his attorneys to take advantage of Tribes as they focus on protecting their tribal citizens and non-tribal citizens during this pandemic.  


Since July we have made it clear that we are open to renegotiating rates as outlined in Part 11 of the compacts.   Any party may request to renegotiate rates and exclusivity.   Governor Stitt, however, has steadfastly rejected that framework, dismissed the Tribal position, insisting on tossing overboard an intergovernmental agreement that has worked well for all Oklahomans.


The tribes that received the letter are outside of the litigation and mediation.  This letter is yet another unsuccessful attempt to divide the Tribes.  The letter confirms the real intent of Governor Stitt is to destroy the tribal interest outlined in the existing compacts.  The Tribal leaders who received the letter  reject the proposal as disrespectful and disingenuous. 


Perhaps more than anything, though, we are dismayed Governor Stitt would exploit the current pandemic for these purposes. Consistent with the advice of public health professionals, the tribal governments have suspended gaming operations to help blunt the spread of COVID-19.   Nothing is more important to the Tribes than working together to fight this deadly virus.  Public health is our main focus at this time.”

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