Judge Rules in Favor of Tribal Owned Casinos in Oklahoma Gambling Compact
I'll be honest, I forgot about this story with everything going on in 2020. Looks like we finally have an answer to the gambling compact in Oklahoma.
You may remember back in December, I let you know that gambling compact in Oklahoma was set to expire. Tribal owned casinos said the compact automatically renews at the beginning of the year. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said a new agreement would need to be meant or gambling activities like slot machines, roulette and craps would be illegal.
Over the past few months, some tribes have sued the Governor. Also the secretary of Native American Affairs in Oklahoma stepped down during these compact negotiations saying the Governor was “committed to an unnecessary conflict” with the state’s tribal governments and “remained intent on breaking faith with them". Yesterday, it looks like we finally have an answer to this gambling compact renewal.
U.S. District Judge Timothy DeGiusti granted summary judgment in favor of the Cherokee Nation and eight other tribal governments that asked DeGiusti to interpret whether the compacts were in force or expired at the end of 2019 as Stitt contended. Judge DeGiusti then believes that the compact automatically renewed on January 1st. This doesn't mean this is the end of this.
Governor Stitt or his legal team has until August 7th to bring up further issues or concerns. A spokesman for the governor did not say whether an appeal would be sought. According to the Cherokee Phoenix, Stitt’s office reportedly spent more than $1.5 million to defend against the tribes’ lawsuit, filed at the end of 2019.
Basically the compact means 4 to 10 percent of the Class III gaming, which includes slot machines, craps and roulette goes to the state of Oklahoma. It looks like that agreement will continue on as normal. Reports say the Governor was trying to increase that percentage to around 13%.