Oklahoma’s Native American tribes have pushed back against state Republican Governor Kevin Stitt who is calling for renegotiations to gain a bigger share of the billions of dollars generated annually by their casinos each year.
Voicing the opinion in the Tulsa World, Stitt cited a mature gambling sector in Oklahoma as the reason for revisiting the tribal compacts which stipulate that between four and 10% of net revenue from gaming should be paid in exclusivity fees.
Tribal leaders have responded, debating that the fees are merely one part of the overall contribution that they make to the state and fail to take into account include millions of dollars that go towards funding education and health care among other things.
Stitt said in his editorial: “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.”
Last year Native Tribes handed over circa $139m in exclusivity fees from revenue of $2.3bn. The compacts are scheduled to renew for another 15-year term in January.