Oklahoma casinos spark dispute with tribes

Native American tribes criticised the government in Oklahoma for wanting to squeeze more of its casinos’ revenue with a new gaming compact.

US.- Potential negotiations over a new gaming compact have generated a dispute between the government and the tribes in Oklahoma. Casinos generate billions of dollars and the authorities think they should get a bigger cut.

Gov. Kevin Stitt suggested the existing compacts should be modified as the gambling industry has matured in Oklahoma.

“In this case, that means sitting down with our tribal partners to discuss how to bring these 15-year-old compacts to an agreement that reflects market conditions for the gaming industry seen around the nation today,” said Stitt.

However, according to tribe leaders, Oklahoma casinos contribute partly through such “exclusivity fees.” They assured it doesn’t include what they invest in health care, education and infrastructure that benefits the population.

“What I don’t understand, in any of his op-ed, there’s no recognition of the true value of the tribes,” said John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw Nation. “We provide benefits for our employees. We’re probably the most philanthropic group in the state.”

“Coming out through an op-ed that was most tribes’ first notice was very surprising,” Matt Morgan, chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association added.

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