Recently, The Governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt made an announcement that the state ought to be getting a larger share of the estimated $2.3 billion from the primordial casino’s earnings each year.
Although, some of the largest tribes in the state have seemly voiced out against the announcement. Having reported in our earlier articles that Oklahoma is a harbor to approximately 120 gambling settlements which is been operated by 35 tribes under a 15-year gaming license which would expire by the January 2020.
According to press news service published by The Dallas Morning News newspaper, it was reported that a lot of gambling enterprises which may be affected by the Governor Kevin Stitt’s declaration and in fact will give no regards to the range in size, from a few machines placed inside mini-marts to big resort-style casino hotels.
Despite the establishment of a lot of gambling settlements in the state, the news service reported that the state of Oklahoma only made $139 million from the exclusivity taxes in 2018. This is not even close to the now expected 4% and 10% of the gambling revenues in the state.
This might have prompted the Republican Governor to make the decree, calling for the rates to be increased. This will be part of the state’s renegotiation and reassessment of the deals expected to be made and agreed on later this year.
The Governor’s statement reportedly goes thus “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”.
The statement went further “The easiest thing to do is simply renew the existing compacts ‘as is,’ rather than do the hard work of closely reviewing and negotiating new compacts that reflect the state of affairs today” The Republican wrote “I believe, however, that voters elected me to look at everything in state government with a fresh eye and, where necessary, make the difficult decisions that are in the best interest of all 4 million Oklahomans.”
The 46-year-old Governor believes the deal needs to be reassessed and renegotiated before both parties could agree on a renewal, making it explicit that failure for both parties to reach an agreement will imply that the affected tribe won’t be able to operate and conduct their usual business any longer.
A strong objection from the Vice President of the Cherokee Nation
However, The vice president of the Cherokee Nation said in her statement the states carters more for the communities by providing college scholarships for students, building homes for those who don’t have shelter, paving roads and maintaining rural hospitals. Her statement goes thus “The Cherokee Nation-state of Oklahoma gaming compact outlines that we pay exclusivity fees that range from 4% to 10% of revenues on Class III games. However, our broader impact on the state’s economy and all Oklahomans is felt through our investment in health care, education, housing infrastructure, and core services that the state of Oklahoma is often unable to provide.”