No deal reached as tribal gaming compacts set to expire

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – In less than 24 hours, a gaming compact involving state and tribal leaders will expire.

However, there is still no agreement about what that means for gaming in Oklahoma.

Currently, Native American tribes pay Oklahoma more than $140 million a year in gaming exclusivity fees from casinos. However, some state leaders say it is time for that to change.

Oklahoma tribes earn $4.5 billion each year thanks to casino-style gaming. Of that money, anywhere from 4 to 10 percent goes back to the state in exclusivity fees.

Since the 15-year deal between the state and the tribes is set to expire in January, Gov. Kevin Stitt recently sent a letter to 35 tribal leaders saying it is time to renegotiate the terms of the agreement

The tribes have contended the compact automatically renews if new agreements aren’t reached, but the governor disagrees.

Stitt said if an agreement wasn’t reached, that Class III gaming would be illegal in Oklahoma on Jan. 1, 2020.

However, tribal leaders contend that the compacts will self-renew if no new deal is reached. They say they plan to continue operating their casinos like normal.

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