For more than a year, lawmakers in Oklahoma and the state’s Native American tribes have been clashing. The state is calling these tribes to pay more money in taxes. The tribes believe this breaches the contract they made with lawmakers decades ago. This week, Governor Kevin Stitt officially called for casino gambling in Oklahoma to become legal.
It’s disappointing news for the tribes operating in this state. It’s also a huge blow for gambling fans here that enjoy making bets inside land-based casinos. Today, we’re going to talk about exactly why Mr. Stitt is taking this stance.
Let’s get into it!
Tribes and Oklahoma Lawmakers Continue to Argue
The issue between Oklahoma’s tribal groups and the state lawmakers has been brewing for months. It began to really heat up back in July when Governor Stitt announced he was considering banning casino gambling in the state. Stitt believes that it’s time for these tribal groups to pay more money.
It all stems from the contracts made with these tribes back in the early 2000s. At that time, an agreement was made for these tribes to operate land-based casinos for 15 years. Both parties agreed to a tax structure and until recently, things were running smoothly.
That is no longer the case. Kevin Stitt believes that once these 15-year contracts expire, it’s time to negotiate the tax structure. The tribes disagree. They are arguing that these contracts automatically renew once they’ve expired.
At first, these two groups seemed uninterested in negotiating with one another. Finally, talks began to take place in October. Unfortunately, it appears these negotiations fell through.
Kevin Stitt is now asking for casino gambling in Oklahoma to be made officially illegal. Will this actually happen in 2020?
Casino Gambling in Oklahoma May be Banned
Oklahoma has one of the largest casino industries in the country. There are a huge number of gambling venues here, most of which offer all types of Class III games such as slots, table games, and poker. Due to the disagreement over tax payments, Kevin Stitt is now officially asking a federal court to prevent tribes from offering any casino gambling in Oklahoma.
Stitt is insisting that these tribes are currently offering casino gambling options illegally. He is arguing in court that these tribes do not currently possess a license to run casinos. Until a new tax structure is agreed to, he states, these tribes will not hold a gambling license.
“Continuing to conduct class III electronic gaming in the absence of valid Gaming Compacts with Oklahoma has resulted, is resulting, and will continue to result, in unjust enrichment to the Tribes,” Stitt claims in a statement to the court. “Unjust enrichment will continue unless and until a new gaming compact is entered into by and between the Tribes and Oklahoma.”
Essentially, Stitt wants confirmation that the state’s contracts do not automatically expire. If this happens, he can officially shut down casino gambling in Oklahoma. The tribes would then be forced to negotiate with lawmakers on a new tax structure.
The tribes have taken to the courts, as well. We’ll need to wait and see how this situation plays out over the next few months. For now, Oklahoma’s land-based casinos continue to operate.
Online Casino Gambling in Oklahoma is Growing More Popular
There are some major fears that Oklahoma’s brick and mortar casino industry will be temporarily shut down soon. If the tribes continue to fight against any tax changes, the fight with state lawmakers could drag on for years. As a result, internet casino gambling here is growing more popular than ever before.
It’s not entirely surprising. Right now, there are a huge number of fantastic Oklahoma casino sites that are available. Most of them provide thousands of different gambling options every single day.
Some of these sites are known for offering mostly slot-style games. Others provide a wide range of online casino gambling options.
One site that’s grown extremely popular over the years is Bovada. Both casino gamblers and sports bettors love this site thanks to its modern design and wide range of gambling options. Feel free to check it out today!
Governor Stitt wants casino gambling in Oklahoma to be banned. Whether or not the courts will agree to this request is still unknown. Stay tuned for updates over the next few weeks!