Oklahoma Secretary of Native American Affairs Steps Down During Compact Negotiations
We're one week away from the compact expiring in Oklahoma and a very important person has left her position.
Things could be getting real interesting in Oklahoma on January 1st. A compact is set to expire on that day. The compact which has been good for the past fifteen years states that the tribes pay the state between 4% and 10% of their adjusted gross revenues for the exclusive right to operate Class III gaming. This includes slot machines, roulette and craps.
If you have been in one of those casinos, those are the vast majority of the casino floor. Governor Stitt says that on the 1st if an extension is not made on the compact, those Class III gaming would become illegal. Chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association said they don't need an extension and it will be business as usual on the 1st.
An extension through August was already declined by tribal leaders and now we have the Oklahoma Secretary of Native American Affairs stepping down. Former Representative Lisa Billy sent in her letter of resignation yesterday. She had some choice words for the governor in her letter as well.
Lisa Billy said Stitt is “committed to an unnecessary conflict” with the state’s tribal governments and “remained intent on breaking faith with them. You have dismissed advice and facts that show the peril of your chosen approach and have remained intent on breaking faith with the Tribes,” Billy wrote.“Your actions have shown that my continuing in service on your cabinet is unnecessary to you and impossible for me.”
Governor Stitt is also planning an audit on January 2nd to some of the tribal casinos throughout the state. We will see what happens in the next week to see if an extension is not met. Things could get pretty interesting in the state if an agreement is not made.