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RED ROCK, Okla. (KFOR) – State leaders joined tribal leaders to celebrate the new terms of a tribal gaming compact going into effect.

On Thursday, Gov. Kevin Stitt met with members of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and local legislators to discuss the tribe’s new gaming compact.

In April, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced that the state had reached new deals with the Otoe-Missouria and Comanche tribes. The compacts call for lower exclusivity fees, and allow sports betting and new casinos closer to larger cities.

Last month, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that it approved the compacts, meaning they are legal in Oklahoma.

Officials say the department has published the compact in the Federal Register, meaning the various aspects of the agreement immediately went into effect.

Slot machine close up in a casino

“It is critical we all work together – state, local and tribal leaders – to build a brighter future for Oklahoma. These new tribal compacts, both the ones approved by the U.S. Department of Interior and the ones to come, will mean economic development for all of Oklahoma,” said Gov. Stitt. “Our state is well positioned to work hand-in-hand with tribal leaders to grow and diversify our economy to benefit education, jobs, health care, roads, bridges and other important state priorities. To really become a top 10 state, we have to all work together and level the business playing field to ensure equity for all tribes of Oklahoma.” 

The tribe’s new gaming compact with the state gives the Otoe-Missouria Tribe the opportunity to build new, state-of-the-art entertainment centers and expand its geographic footprint into three additional Oklahoma counties.

Furthermore, the agreement removes restrictions on house-banked table and card games and brings the possibility of event wagering and sports betting to Oklahoma.

“I want to thank the governor for coming to Red Rock today and our local and state elected officials for their support,” said Otoe-Missouria Tribe Chairman John R. Shotton. “We look forward to partnering with them as we seek to modernize gaming in Oklahoma. We are one of the largest employers in both Kay County and Noble County because our Tribal Council has turned our gaming revenue into long-term investments in sustainable industries, including agriculture, hospitality and financial services. We look forward to expanding our operations in Noble County and expanding into Logan and Payne counties with the next phase of development, which will help diversify local economies and bring much-needed development to rural Oklahoma.”

Sports betting is against Oklahoma law, causing the tribes to be in the middle of an ongoing legal battle.