OKLAHOMA GOVERNOR SIGNS TWO NEW GAMING COMPACTS
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has agreed new gaming compacts that will see two additional casinos established in the state.
The latest compacts were signed Thursday with the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB) and Kialegee Tribal Town (KTT).
The signing of the new gaming compacts comes despite the ongoing legal challenge to the two compacts signed by Governor Stitt with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe earlier this year, which are said to be in breach of state law for authorizing sports betting and house-banked games.
The new compacts with UKB and KTT will see two new casinos established in Logan County and eastern Oklahoma County to offer gaming machines and non-house banked card and table games, with the contentious sports betting and house-banked games excluded from the definition of Covered Games.
However, the compacts allow the tribes offer new games under an amended compact, if and when such games are classified as Covered Games.
The new agreements also recognise the state’s right to offer iLottery games, subject to certain restrictions.
“By negotiating with each individual Oklahoma tribe, the State is seeking to level the playing field for all tribes and working to ensure that no one is held back by its size or resources from competing and pursuing economic growth for its citizens,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt.
“The Kialegee Tribal Town is pursuing a sound business plan for its first gaming location in Oklahoma with their compact commitment to partner with another Tribe on this venture. They have been good faith partners in this process, and the State looks forward to supporting their efforts to strengthen opportunities for KTT citizens, to expand economic development in the region, and to generate new revenue for Oklahoma’s public education system.”
UKB Chief Joe Bunch commented: “It is both an honor and privilege to be announcing the signing of this economic venture between the great State of Oklahoma and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.
“We thank Governor Kevin Stitt and his administration for this monumental day and for their leadership efforts in this compact. It is a grand day for Keetoowahs and Native American tribes all over the country. It is a day when one of their own partnered with Oklahoma in building a stronger economy through the avenues of retail, food and beverage, hotel, hospitality and casino operations, all by signing a Class III gaming compact with the state,” added Bunch.
“This compact also presents an opportunity for the UKB to move forward and begin increasing health, education and job opportunities for our tribal members and elders, as well as our surrounding communities. After all, we know if our communities are doing well, the state is also doing well. Thank you and God bless the UKB and the State of Oklahoma.”
Both compacts have been submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior for approval.
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