Friday, August 21, 2020

Dep't of Interior approves Oklahoma gaming compacts with Kialegee and UKB


OKLAHOMA CITY (August 20, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt has announced the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) deemed approved the State’s two most recent gaming compacts with the Kialegee Tribal Town (KTT) and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB). These new gaming compacts double the current fee rate on Class III games, from 6% in the 2004 Model Gaming Compact to as high as 13%, and strengthens gaming compact transparency, setting the stage for additional revenue for public education in the near future and strengthening State-Tribal relationships through individual negotiations.

“The U.S. Department of Interior recognizes 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,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “I appreciate and respect the thoughtful leadership of Mekko Brian Givens and Chief Joe Bunch who worked hard to secure fair terms for their citizens, and whose contributions throughout the negotiations ensured a competitive gaming market in Oklahoma. With these new gaming compacts, Oklahoma is ushering in a new era of prosperity, opportunity, and partnership for the State and the Tribes.”

The compacts represent the new, modern approach to State-Tribal gaming and relationships and look beyond the one-size-fits-all model utilized in the past.  Each new compact establishes clarity and certainty for each sovereign party; expands gaming opportunities for the KTT and UKB, keeping in mind the dynamic and evolving nature of the gaming industry; provides for meaningful consideration for the State’s fee structure for class III games and table games for new locations; and strengthens compact transparency with clear auditing guidance and new dispute resolution provisions.

The tribes can begin operating under the terms agreed to between the parties once the compacts are published in the Federal Register.

Official statement from Mekko Brian Givens:
"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."

Official statement from Chief Joe Bunch:
"It is a great day as we prepare to partner with the State of Oklahoma in this Class III gaming compact that will be good for Logan County, the State and the United Keetoowah Band. Our compact will help provide much needed resources to our tribe and surrounding communities as we continue to develop a robust economy and exercise our tribal sovereignty."


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