New tribal compacts in Oklahoma approved

The compacts raise the fees currently paid by tribal operators from 6% to 13%.
The compacts raise the fees currently paid by tribal operators from 6% to 13%.

The compacts will allow two tribes to open casinos near metropolitan areas.

US.- The Department of Interior (DOI) has approved two contested tribal gaming compacts in the state of Oklahoma.

The compacts were signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt with the Kialegee Tribal Town (KTT) and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB).

The two tribes do not currently operate any casinos within Oklahoma, but the new compacts will allow them to open casinos near metropolitan areas, excluding sports betting which is not yet legal within the state.

The compacts aim to encourage market competitiveness. In 2019, 81 per cent of casino gambling took place at casinos owned by just 18 per cent of Oklahoma’s tribes. 

The compacts raise the fees currently paid by the tribal operators from 6 per cent to 13 per cent in a bid to generate revenue for public education.

Gov. Stitt said: “The U.S. Department of Interior recognises the State’s good faith effort to negotiate with Oklahoma tribes in the approval of two new gaming compacts that will generate new revenue for public schools in the future and expand economic opportunity for our tribal partners.”

Speaking on behalf of the KTT, Kialegee Mekko Brian Givens said: “The Kialegee Tribal Town would like to thank Governor Kevin Stitt, his administration, the Great State of Oklahoma and the U.S. Department of Interior for the good faith in producing our new gaming compact.

“This compact, which was approved by operation of law, will allow the Kialegee Tribal Town the same opportunities others have had and could improve the economic landscape for the Tribal Town and tribal members. As an agreement between two sovereign entities, I see this act of good faith in continuing our relationship with the State of Oklahoma and look forward to future dialogue to improve our local communities.”

Earlier this month four Oklahoma tribes filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Kevin Stitt and the US Department of the Interior.