Oklahoma’s Casino Issues Are Starting to Improve

For months, lawmakers in Oklahoma have been clashing with the state’s tribes over gambling compacts. Some of the leaders in Oklahoma argue these tribes cannot operate casinos until these compacts are renegotiated. Fortunately, Oklahoma’s casino issues are finally beginning to improve.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt

It’s fantastic news for tribes with casinos here. Of course, the entire land-based casino industry in the US is facing serious issues right now. Today, we’re going to look at the history of this dispute and talk about how it’s being figured out.

Let’s get into it!

History of the Oklahoma-Tribe Casino Dispute

As many know, Oklahoma is home to one of the largest casino industries in the country. A huge number of Native American tribes operate casinos here. These gambling venues help to draw in many visitors from nearby states such as Texas.

Initially, Native American tribes here signed 15-year deals with the state to run these gambling venues. These compacts set a certain amount of revenue that casinos would need to pay to the state. At the beginning of this year, the 15-year compacts between the state and tribes officially expired.

Many tribes here claimed these compacts auto-renew. They have refused to shut down their gambling venues, despite the state’s requests. Some of Oklahoma’s leaders have stated these venues are now operating illegally and tribes need to negotiate with the state to come up with a new tax structure.

It’s become a very serious issue. Governor Stitt threatened to shut down the casinos in this state. Finally, these two parties began entering into negotiations.

Until recently, these negotiations seemed to be at a standstill. Several tribes here refused to start paying more in casino revenue taxes. This week, news began to surface that lawmakers and several tribes here have come to an agreement.

Here’s an Update on Oklahoma’s Casino Issues

It was difficult for analysts to predict how long this issue would carry on for. It was clear that tribes were going to fight against raising their current tax rates. State leaders were also adamant that the compacts be renegotiated.

It looks like Oklahoma’s casino issues are finally clearing up. Today, news broke that Governor Stitt had reached an agreement with several tribes. Reports claim that the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria have officially signed new deals with the state.

The Governor released a statement about this situation to the media this week.

“As an Oklahoman and a tribal citizen, it has been my heart’s desire to provide a level playing field for all 4 million Oklahomans and to ensure meaningful opportunities for all our 38 federally recognized tribes that call Oklahoma home,” Stitt said in a news conference. 

Interestingly, Stitt has also approved these tribes to start offering sports betting options. Under the new deal, the state’s share of sports gambling is 1.1% of the amount wagered. 6% of casinos’ net revenue will also now go to the state.

When Will Oklahoma’s Casino Open to the Public?

Since March, all of the casinos in Oklahoma have been shut down. This isn’t the only state with these regulations, though. Every land-based casino in the country is shut down right now; including ones in Las Vegas.

This casino shutdown has been extremely damaging to the country’s gambling industry. Many companies are losing millions of dollars every single day. The worst thing is that it’s unclear when these gambling venues will be able to open once again.

Based on new reports, Oklahoma is beginning to open its state back up. Today, Governor Stitt announced that “personal care businesses” can begin to open their doors on Friday. Stitt’s plan to reopen the state is coming in three phases.

No one can really say when casinos will be allowed to open again. Many analysts feel that these venues pose serious risks for infection spread. In places like Las Vegas, several casino companies are coming up with new ideas to open casinos to the public.

It’s great to see Oklahoma’s casino issues being figured out. It now seems likely that other tribes in the state will begin pushing to sign an agreement with the state. We’ll need to wait and see how long it takes for the country’s casino industry to open back up.

Stay tuned for more Oklahoma casino news over the next few months!

Here’s an Update on the Kingston Casino Resort

At the moment, all of the land-based casinos in Oklahoma are closed to the public. Despite that fact, more tribes in the state are pushing to open new casino-resorts. This week, the Chickasaw Tribe offered an update on the Kingston Casino Resort set to open on the shores of Lake Texoma.Chickasaw Nation Seal

This isn’t the only new gambling venue set to open in this state. Today, we’re going to discuss what’s planned for the Kingston Casino. We’ll also talk about when casinos in the state may decide to open again.

Let’s get into it!

Governor Stitt Continues to Fight in the Courts With Tribes

Kevin Stitt is now well-known for his legal disputes with different Native American tribes in the state. This all started back in the beginning of 2019. That was when the tribe’s gambling compacts expired and lawmakers began demanding they negotiate for new ones.

In 2004, the tribes and state officials agreed to 15-year contracts. These called for the tribes to pay between 4% to 10% of their total revenue in taxes to the state. Now that these contracts are expired, state leaders argue it’s time for the tribes and lawmakers to come up with new agreements.

As of now, the tribes with casinos here are operating as if it’s business as usual. Governor Kevin Stitt believes that they are doing this illegally. Until a new tax structure is agreed to, he argues, all casinos are not able to operate.

This issue is now being fought in court. Attempts at negotiations have been ongoing. According to most reports, however, no real progress has been made.

It’s unclear when this legal fight between the tribes and lawmakers will end. In the meantime, several major tribal groups in the state continue pushing to open new casinos. We’re just receiving an update on another major casino-resort set to open here this year.

More Information About the Kingston Casino Resort is Coming Out

Oklahoma is home to a huge number of popular casino-resorts. Historically speaking, these venues have brought the state a huge amount of revenue. These casinos also help to draw in many visitors from nearby states such as Texas.

For years, the Chickasaw Nation has discussed plans to open a new casino-resorts on the shores of Lake Texoma. The tribe has been asking state officials for permission to open this new venue. Now, it seems that the Kingston Casino Resort will officially open at some point this year.

More information about this casino-resort is starting to come out. According to new reports, it will feature more than 9,600 square feet of gaming space, a 40-room hotel, and 10 rental cabins. Many expect this to become a highly popular venue due to its location.

Back in March, the Chickasaw Nation looked at how the opening of this casino would impact the local area. The tribe then claimed to have purchased a 62-acre plot of land to build it on. Before construction can begin, however, the land needs to be placed under federal trade status in order to comply with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The Kingston Casino Resort will generate $58 million in economic impact during its first year of operating, according to the Chickasaw Nation. Some analysts are now wondering whether or not the opening of this venue will be possible at all this year due to current regulations.

When Will Oklahoma’s Casino Industry Open Back Up?

Across the country, land-based casinos have been forced to close their doors. This is due to the new coronavirus spreading around the United States. Hundreds of thousands of people have been infected here, despite extreme measures taken in almost every state.

In Oklahoma, all casinos have been closed to the public for weeks. This has been devastating for many tribes that rely on casino revenue to operate normally. Unfortunately, it’s unclear when these current restrictions will be lifted.

More than 2,000 people in Oklahoma have already tested positive for Covid-19. That number is likely to increase as time goes on. Until a major reduction in cases is seen, casinos here will remain closed.

How exactly this will affect the opening of the Kingston Casino Resort is unknown. As we mentioned earlier, the initial plan was to construct and open this new property in 2020. The longer that casinos are forced to be closed here, the more difficult it will be to start building a new gaming venue.

It’s also disappointing news for the Cherokee Tribe, who plan on opening a new casino in Pope County this year.

Hopefully, things begin to improve before too long. Oklahoma’s casino industry is one of the biggest in the country. The state economy will benefit greatly once these casinos here are back up and running.

Stay tuned for more Oklahoma casino news over the next few weeks!

Opening of a New Casino in Pope County May be Delayed

Oklahoma is home to a huge number of popular tribal casinos. More are continuing to open around the state every few years. This weekend, the Cherokee Tribe’s attempt to open a new casino in Pope County started facing trouble from an anti-casino group in the state.

Oklahoma Casinos

It’s unfortunate news, especially considering the way the land-based casino industry is faring right now. Today, we’re going to take a look at why this group is pushing against the opening of the new gambling venue.

Let’s get into it!

All Casinos in Oklahoma Are Closed

This is the most unusual time in the history of the US gambling industry. Never before have all of the country’s casinos been forced to close. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening right now due to the spread of the new coronavirus, called Covid-19.

Since March, all casinos in the state of Oklahoma have been closed to the public. Health officials warn that these venues are ideal places for a virus to spread. It remains unclear when the state’s casinos will be able to open their doors again.

Obviously, this has resulted in a huge loss of revenue. Many Native American tribes in the state rely on their casinos for funding. Due to the closing of these venues, many are losing out on millions of dollars every single month.

Rates of Covid-19 continue to rise in Oklahoma. As of today, 1,868 individuals have been confirmed positive here. An additional 74 cases were recorded over the past 24 hours. Most experts believe the true number of cases is significantly higher.

As long as infection rates are increasing, casinos in the state are likely to remain shut down. That doesn’t mean certain groups aren’t already looking to the future, though. Unfortunately, even tribes looking to open new casinos in the state are facing backlash.

Anti-Gambling Group Fights Against New Casino in Pope County

Oklahoma’s casino laws are constantly changing. New regulations are occasionally introduced that allow for more gambling venues to be built in the state. Back in 2018, the state approved Constitutional Amendment 100, which allows a new casino to be constructed in Pope and Jefferson Counties.

Under the amendment, the new casinos must gain approval from local officials. Interestingly, a clause was introduced that claims only local officials present at the time of the application submittal need to approve the casino plans. Eventually, the Cherokee Tribe introduced plans to open a new casino in Pope County.

Local officials seemed happy with the proposed $38.8 million casino. Not everyone wants to see this venue built, though. A major anti-casino group in the state is now claiming that the approval of this casino goes against a restraining order set in place last December.

This group, called Citizens for a Better Pope County, sued the Racing Commission in December, resulting in a temporary restraining order. They now feel the Commission has no ability to approve a casino license while the restraining order is set in place.

“The Commission runs the risk of violating the [restraining order] with its announced course of action,” said Jerry Malone, an attorney for the Citizens for a Better Pope County. “Additionally, various counts in the Second Amended Complaint raise substantive allegations that it constitutes an illegal exaction for the Commission to expend taxpayer dollars in consideration of Cherokee Nation’s Good Cause Shown Application.” 

Members of the Cherokee Nation have not yet commented on this legal situation. We’ll need to wait and see what steps are taken to approve the new casino in Pope County over the next few weeks.

Oklahoma Lawmakers and Tribes Are Still Arguing in Court

The legal fight between the Cherokee and the anti-gambling group isn’t the only one taking place in Oklahoma. For months, other tribes in the state have been in a bitter dispute with Oklahoma’s leaders. This fight is all about gambling revenue.

Kevin Stitt, the Governor of Oklahoma, believes that the gaming compacts signed with tribes more than 15 years ago have expired. He claims it’s now time to negotiate the terms of these compacts. This includes seeing more of the casino revenue going to the state.

Stitt, along with many other state politicians, now believes that these tribes are operating their casinos illegally. Despite these opinions, the tribes are continuing to go about business as usual. Thus far, negotiations between the state and tribes have been largely unsuccessful.

Plans to open the new casino in Pope County have been introduced. It seemed as if they had been approved, as well. The Citizens for a Better Pope County are now working to keep this casino from ever opening its doors.

As we said earlier, this is a very unusual time for the state’s casino industry. Hopefully, things begin getting back to normal over the next month or two.

Stay tuned for more Oklahoma casino news over the next few weeks!

Oklahoma’s Gambling Issues Continue in Court

For months, lawmakers in the state of Oklahoma have been fighting with Native American tribes in the state over gambling tax rates. The state government feels it’s time to renegotiate the tax structure set on these tribes’ casinos. Unfortunately, Oklahoma’s gambling issues are continuing in court.Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt

This week, the Attorney General commented on this dispute. Today, we’re going to talk about how these problems started, and what to expect in the future.

Let’s get into it!

What Started the Dispute Between OK Lawmakers and Tribes?

There are a huge number of Native American tribes in Oklahoma. Since 2004, Oklahoma has allowed tribes in the state to operate Class III casinos. Tribal leaders and lawmakers in the state agreed to a 15-year contract that sets a tax structure of 4 to 10% of gambling revenue.

For the past 15 years, things have run smoothly. It seemed as if both the tribes and lawmakers were happy with the money coming in. Unfortunately, things began to take a turn in 2019.

Last year, Governor Kevin Stitt revealed that he wanted to renegotiate the tax structure with the tribes. He argues that since the 15-year contract has expired, the system set in place back in 2004 is no longer valid. The Native American tribes here, however, believe that this contract automatically renews and are refusing to agree to any new terms.

It’s become a serious issue in the state. Governor Stitt has claimed that the state’s tribal casinos are now operating illegally. The tribes are challenging that notion in court.

Neither of these groups has been able to make much progress. In the meantime, the tribes are continuing to run their gambling venues as if nothing is happening. It’s a complicated issue that may drag on for months.

Attorney General Comments on Oklahoma’s Gambling Issues

Lawmakers and tribal leaders are refusing to back down here. Kevin Stitt is adamant that it’s time for the state to start earning more from the casinos here. He’s proposed several ideas, including diverting the gambling revenue that tribes are earning while the legal process takes place.

This week, Attorney General Mike Hunter officially shut this idea down. Hunter claims that gambling revenue must be allocated under the state’s current laws. This calls for 12% of all revenue to be deposited into the state’s general fund and the rest to go towards public education.

Many of the tribes in Oklahoma have sued Governor Stitt in federal court. As we already mentioned, these tribes are continuing to operate their gambling revenue. In the meantime, revenue from these gaming venues is not going to the state.

In February, a federal judge ordered the tribes and Stitt to enter into mediation. The judge is now demanding that the two parties come to an agreement by March 31st. Whether or not that becomes a reality is still unknown.

Governor Stitt is suggesting that 25% of gambling revenue go towards the state government. He commented on Oklahoma’s gambling issues to the media this week.

“I don’t begrudge them for fighting for a good deal for themselves,” Stitt explained. “But guys, this is not a good deal. I would not be doing a good job as governor if I rubber stamped a contract that goes on forever.”

There’s no way of telling how this situation will play out.

Coronavirus May Have An Impact on Oklahoma’s Gambling Industry

For months, a new kind of coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China called Covid-19 has spread around the world. It’s already infected more than 110,000 individuals and killed thousands. Unfortunately, there are no indications that this virus will die off anytime soon.

In fact, Covid-19 has begun spreading rapidly around the United States. According to new reports, at least 720 people have been diagnosed in the country. Most experts feel the true number is considerably higher.

This virus is already having an impact on the country’s gambling industry. Some reports claim that tourism to Las Vegas is beginning to slow down. There are fears over the spread of the virus inside gambling venues.

There’s a chance that the coronavirus could seriously impact Oklahoma’s gambling industry. Not long ago, a case was officially confirmed in a casino in Oregon. This forced the gambling venue to shut down. If cases begin popping up in Oklahoma casinos, the state’s entire gambling industry may eventually close off.

Oklahoma’s gambling issues may just be getting started. For now, they involve just lawmakers and tribes. Hopefully, Covid-19 does not end up forcing casinos here to shut their doors to the public.

Stay tuned for more Oklahoma casino news over the next few months!

Kevin Stitt Wants Casino Gambling in Oklahoma to be Made Illegal

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.Governor Kevin Stitt

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!

Will Tribal Gambling in Oklahoma Be Made Illegal in 2020?

For years, Oklahoma has boasted one of the largest Native American tribal casino markets in the world. A huge number of tribal casinos are operating here, yet they’re in danger of soon being banned. Many are now wondering whether or not tribal gambling in Oklahoma will be made illegal next year.

Governor Kevin Stitt

Oklahoma’s governor is making it clear that he’s against the gambling industry. Today, we’re going to look at exactly why casino gambling could be made illegal here. We’ll also talk about the chances of this happening in 2020.

Let’s get into it!

Oklahoma Lawmakers Continue to Fight With Tribes

As we just mentioned, Oklahoma has a long and rich history of gambling regulation. In the 1980s, lawmakers here began allowing horse race gambling and Class II casino gambling options. It was a major step forward, as in the past, state officials banned almost all forms of traditional gambling.

Unfortunately, these officials seemed unwilling to legalize real casino gambling. Class III games, which include table games and slot machines, were banned for years. In 2000, lawmakers here finally entered into negotiations with tribes over this subject.

In 2004, Class III gambling was officially legalized in Oklahoma. This breathed new life in the state’s gambling industry. Almost immediately after this legalization, a huge number of tribes began immediately pushing to open new gambling venues. Online casinos in Oklahoma remain unregulated but are hugely popular.

The state began benefiting from this industry right away. Hundreds of millions of dollars started flowing into the state. These casinos attracted many visitors from nearby states such as Texas.

Unfortunately, Governor Kevin Stitt may end up killing the state’s gambling industry. Tribal gambling in Oklahoma could actually become illegal soon.

Kevin Stitt is Fighting Against Tribal Gambling in Oklahoma

Native American tribes in Oklahoma have been fighting with certain state lawmakers for months. It all stems from a disagreement with the state’s gambling compacts. Initially, the state granted tribes here a 15-year contract to offer Class III gambling options.

Under this contract, the tribes agreed to pay the state a certain amount of their revenue via taxes. The 15-year contracts are now expired, and Kevin Stitt believes that it’s time to renegotiate the terms of the agreement. The tribes in this state disagree.

It’s become a serious issue. Tribal leaders are under the impression that the 15-year agreement auto-renews. They are continuing to operate in the same way they have for the past decade and a half.

Stitt wants to see the tribes start paying more money to the state. Until this happens, he argues, these tribes are operating illegally. It’s a complicated issue with no real end in sight.

Not long ago, it appeared that the tribes and lawmakers were ready to negotiate. Unfortunately, these negotiations seem to have fallen through. Now, many of these tribes here are taking legal action against Governor Stitt.

Tribes Officially Sue Kevin Stitt Over Casino Dispute

Kevin Stitt isn’t backing down. He maintains that the state deserves more money from its legal casino gambling options. To their credit, the tribes aren’t backing down, either.

This week, the three most powerful tribes in the state officially filed a lawsuit against Governor Stitt. The Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw tribes are all taking legal action against the governor for not renewing the gambling compacts. The tribes all claim that they’ve met all the requirements to obtain new gambling licenses.

Chuck Hoskin, the Cherokee Nation Chief, commented on why these lawsuits are now taking place.

“For some time, we have tried to establish meaningful intergovernmental engagement regarding our gaming compacts, but you have continued to reject our compacts’ plain terms,” he said. “Recently, you have gone further, stating allegations against us and threats to our operations.”

Stitt is telling the media that he’s still open to negotiations. Until this takes place, he maintains that Class III gambling is illegal here.

Tribal gambling in Oklahoma is still available, despite its legality sitting in a grey area. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on this situation over the next few months!

Oklahoma Ranks As One of the Top Gambling States in the Country

States around the country are beginning to embrace the casino industry. Some areas allow only tribal gambling. Others allow commercial casinos to operate. This week, a study was revealed that shows Oklahoma is one of the top gambling states in the country.State Map Of Oklahoma

It’s interesting news, yet not entirely unexpected. Now is the perfect time to look at this state’s current gambling regulations. We’ll also look at some of the issues that Oklahoma’s gambling industry has faced over the past few months.

Let’s get into it!

Gambling Laws in Oklahoma, Explained

Nowadays, Oklahoma is known for having one of the biggest casino industries in the country. The first casinos began operating here back in the 1800s. In 1890, lawmakers here passed legislation that banned all forms of gambling.

In 1992, the state began allowing Native American tribes to begin operating Class II casinos. 10 years later, lawmakers began allowing bingo games to be offered inside these gambling venues. For decades, the tribes here pushed lawmakers to allow Class III gambling which includes traditional casino games and slot machines.

Eventually, the tribes took the issue to court. They managed to win and in the year 2002, casinos in this state were granted permission to officially offer Class III games. This decision proved to be highly profitable for the state.

More than 100 land-based casinos now operate in Oklahoma. They’re hugely popular with locals and tourists and help to generate millions of dollars for the state every single month. The huge number of casinos helped to make Oklahoma one of the top gambling states in the country.

Tribes here have begun to fight with lawmakers over potential changes to the state’s tax structure. Fortunately, gambling venues here continue to be highly popular.

Oklahoma is One of the Top Gambling States in the Country

Everyone knew that Oklahoma was a major gambling destination. It draws in a huge number of individuals from states such as Texas and Tennessee who want to gamble inside casinos. This week, a report surfaced that proves Oklahoma is one of the top gambling states in the country.

The American Gaming Association recently held a study that shows Oklahoma is one of the highest states in the nation when it comes to the average amount each resident gambles. Only Nevada has a larger gambling market, according to the study.

Here is the breakdown of the top five gambling states’ average annual resident gambling spending.

  • Nevada: $3,928
  • Oklahoma: $1,141
  • Mississippi: $717
  • Louisiana: $674
  • Rhode Island: $620

This is obviously good news for Native American tribes operating casinos here. Many of these tribes are working to open new venues every single year.

As we mentioned earlier, there have been some issues between the tribes and lawmakers. Let’s look at what the problem stems from.

Tribes and Lawmakers Continue to Negotiate Tax Structure

For many years, a harmony has existed between Oklahoma’s state officials and Native American tribes. The two parties have agreed on a tax system that works. Earlier this year, however, the state’s governor began calling for changes.

Governor Kevin Stitt believes that the current structure is outdated. He wants the tribes to begin paying the state more for the profits they earn from the gambling industry. To say this didn’t sit well with the tribes here would be an understatement.

For months, these tribes refused to negotiate with lawmakers. In October, things took a turn and the tribal leaders finally agreed to speak about the proposed changes.

This has helped to move things forward in a positive light. The Shawnee Tribe recently opened a new gambling venue in September. More casinos are scheduled to open over the next few months.

Oklahoma is one of the top gambling states in the country. Hopefully, it stays this way for years to come.

Stay tuned for more US casino news over the next few months!

Oklahoma Tribes Begin to Negotiate With State Officials

Lawmakers in Oklahoma and the state’s Native American Tribes have been arguing with each other for months. It’s a complicated issue in which both parties feel they’re correct. This week, Oklahoma tribes have finally begun negotiating with members of the state government.State Map Of Oklahoma

It’s great news to see a discussion finally take place. Now is the perfect time to look at what these two groups are arguing about. We’ll also talk about some of the state’s possible gambling expansion plans.

Tribal Casinos in Oklahoma Continue to Bring in Revenue

Oklahoma is home to more than 100 land-based casinos. A huge number of Native American Tribes are based in this state and since 1988, they’ve been able to operate gambling venues on sovereign land. This industry has proven to be extremely successful for the state government.

All together, these casinos generate billions of dollars every single year. That usually ends up paying the government more than $100 million each year in taxes, as well. Oklahoma casinos also help to boost the state’s tourism industry.

In many nearby states such as Texas, casino gambling is completely illegal. For that reason, many people come to test their luck in different Oklahoma tribal casinos. State lawmakers recognize how important these venues are for the local economy.

Interestingly, some major politicians in this state have worked to generate more revenue from the gambling industry. Even the Governor of Oklahoma believes that the state should be making more money from casinos. These opinions has led to some serious conflicts with Oklahoma tribes that operate gambling establishments.

Oklahoma Tribes Finally Start Negotiating With Lawmakers

There are many highly popular gambling venues in this state. For many years, these casinos have been forced to pay between 4% and 10% of their total revenue to the state via taxes. These rates seemed to work for both the tribes and state government.

This year, things took a turn. Governor Kevin Stitt began taking a closer look at the current tax structure. He felt that the tax structure was outdated, and it was time for these tribes to begin paying more money.

Many different Oklahoma tribes began pushing against these new measures. John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw Nation, commented on the state’s newly proposed measures to the media this summer.

“What I don’t understand, in any of his op-ed, there’s no recognition of the true value of the tribes,” he said. “(Native American tribes) are one of the largest employers in the state. We provide benefits for our employees. We’re probably the most philanthropic group in the state.”

For months, the tribes refused to engage in any real dialogue with lawmakers. Finally, these tribes have begun negotiating.

Oklahoma’s Attorney General is now speaking with more than two dozen tribal leaders. Hope is that these groups can reach an agreement and move forward without any major issues.

Lawmakers Still Push Against Sports Betting Legalization

Since May of 2018, every state in the country has been granted the ability to set its own laws on sports betting. Today, 19 states have outright legalized this form of gambling. Many more are likely to do so over the next few years.

Lawmakers in Oklahoma are showing no real willingness to embrace this industry. In late 2018, a bill was introduced here to allow Oklahoma tribes to offer “sports pools” inside casinos.

If approved, this bill would have allowed for “wagering on the outcome of one or more competitive games in which athletes participate, or on one or more performances of such athletes in such games where all bets are placed in a common pool or pot from which all player winnings, prizes and direct costs are paid.”

Unfortunately, this bill failed to get approved during the state’s 2018 legislative session and seems unlikely to be approved this year.

Many, however, believe that sports betting will be legalized in Oklahoma within a few years. The state already earns millions from casinos. Regulation of the sports betting industry will bring in millions of additional dollars to the state government each year.

Stay tuned for more Oklahoma casino news over the next few months!