The Oklahoma Supreme Court has reportedly refused a gubernatorial request to revisit its recent decision that invalidated the controversial gaming compacts the state had earlier inked with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe.
According to a Tuesday report from local television broadcaster KFOR-TV, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt lodged the formal appeal last month in an attempt to gain clarification over whether the area of these tribal compacts that had dealt with sportsbetting could be severed from the remainder of the condemned deals.
The broadcaster reported that Stitt signed the two 15-year agreements in April as part of an attempt to partially resolve the long-running dispute over the amount of cash Oklahoma was collecting from tribal casinos in ‘exclusivity fees’. However, KFOR-TV detailed that this larger issue was resolved via a decisive federal court ruling a little over three months later just as the Oklahoma Supreme Court was invalidating the Republican governor’s arrangements with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe.
The two gaming compacts that Stitt had agreed with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe were to have given the federally-recognized pair the right to individually build up to three new casinos closer to major metropolitan areas. The duo was to have moreover been allowed to offer sportsbetting so long as they agreed to pay a 1.1% state tax on the amounts wagered and hand over a greater share of their net annual gaming revenues in ‘exclusivity fees’.
Oklahoma is home to some 35 casino-operating tribes while the broadcaster reported that the recent invalidation means that the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe have since reverted to running their aboriginal gambling enterprises under earlier gaming compacts that are not set to expire until the end of 2035.
Matthew Morgan, Chairman for the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, reportedly told KFOR-TV that the appeal request to the Oklahoma Supreme Court had underscored Stitt’s ‘go-it-alone approach’ which he described as ‘not legal nor helpful in moving state-tribal relationships forward.’
Morgan reportedly told the broadcaster…
“The Oklahoma Supreme Court denied Governor Stitt’s request for a rehearing of the petition filed by the Pro Tem and Speaker after declaring the agreements [he] entered into with the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and Comanche Nation were invalid and unlawful.”