In Oklahoma and a pair of tribes that recently inked updated gaming compacts with the office of Governor Kevin Stitt have reportedly had their memberships in the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association suspended until the end of the year.
According to reports from The Oklahoman and Tulsa World newspapers, the federally-recognized Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe last month agreed revised 15-year deals that saw them agree to pay a range of new ‘exclusivity fees’ in exchange for being given permission to build up to three new casinos and offer sportsbetting.
However, Tulsa World reported that these updated gaming compacts raised the ire of eleven other Oklahoma tribes that are still engaged in a fierce federal lawsuit concerning a contention that their previous 15-year arrangements had been automatically renewed at the conclusion of 2019.
Matthew Morgan, Chairman for the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, reportedly issued a declaration in which he revealed that the casino-operating Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe have been temporarily suspended from his organization following the alteration of its by-laws and must now wait until December before asking for re-admission.
Reportedly read a statement from Morgan…
“This was a difficult decision to make but it was the correct one. The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association works best when its membership can speak frankly and with the trust that all members are working together to support our industry as a whole.”
For its part and The Oklahoman reported that John Shotton (pictured), Chairman for the Otoe-Missouria Tribe used a subsequent statement to proclaim that his tribe had inked its revised arrangement with the governor of the southwestern state as ‘a sovereign nation’ and now plans ‘to follow the federal process for approval of the negotiated compact.’
Reportedly read an affirmation from Shotton…
“Regardless of the opinion of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, there are not hierarchies of sovereign nations in Indian country. Each tribe has the right to negotiate the best compact available for its tribal government. We still support the intentions of the other tribes to fight for the very best compact for their individual governments. I certainly hope, as negotiations continue, other tribes won’t be singled out for exercising their tribal sovereignty.”