Oklahoma tribes with casinos say no to compact arbitration

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) – Oklahoma’s 35 tribal nations with casinos have rejected arbitration in a dispute with the state over whether existing gaming compacts automatically renew at the end of the year.

The Tulsa World reports that the tribes say in a letter to state Attorney General Mike Hunter that they remain unified in the belief the compacts renew.

Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt has said the 15-year-old compacts expire at the end of the year and wants to renegotiate them to give the state a larger share of casino revenue.

The tribes pay fees of between 4% and 10% of a casino’s net revenue and receive exclusive rights to operate casinos in the state.

The fees generated nearly $139 million for the state last year.

Stitt spokeswoman Baylee Lakey said the governor is disappointed the tribes declined arbitration. Hunter’s office declined to comment.

Hunter met with representatives from 31 tribes across the state about the gaming compacts October 28.

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