Oklahoma governor announces gambling deal with Comanche Tribe, Otoe-Missouria Tribe

Oklahoma governor announces gambling deal with Comanche Tribe, Otoe-Missouria Tribe
The compacts would authorize both tribes to offer sports gambling. (Source: WAFB)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced on Tuesday that he has reached a deal with two Native American tribes that will increase the state’s share of revenue from new casinos and expand the kinds of gambling tribes can offer.

Stitt signed new 15-year gaming compacts with the Red Rock, Oklahoma-based Otoe-Missouria Tribe and the Lawton-based Comanche Nation. The compacts still must be ratified by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

“This modernized gaming compact expands opportunities for our tribal partners, enhances revenue for the state from Class III and covered games, and will strengthen state-tribal relations for generations to come,” Stitt said during a signing ceremony at the state Capitol with leaders from both tribes.

The compacts would authorize both tribes to offer sports gambling. The state’s share on sports gambling would be 1.1% of the amount wagered. Under the new compacts, the exclusivity fees paid by the tribes to the state would be between 4.5% to 6% of net revenue at existing casinos, which is similar to the fees paid under the current compacts. But that amount would increase to as high as 13% at new casinos the tribes build.

Meanwhile, mediation between the state and ten other Oklahoma-based tribal nations is continuing after three of the state’s most powerful tribes — the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations — sued the governor late last year. Nine other tribes, including the Otoe-Missouria and Comanches, later joined that lawsuit. A federal judge has extended mediation in that case until May 31.