According to a Thursday report from The Oklahoman newspaper, the decision could allow the giant tribe to begin offering a mobile-friendly range of ‘Class II’ bingo games to users across a large swath of southern Oklahoma. The source detailed that the National Indian Gaming Commission regulates tribal gaming across the United States and worked with the Chickasaw Nation for over a year before signing off on adjusted standards that will allow the group to expand its operations onto mobile devices.
The newspaper reported that this federal consent could now set up a state-versus-tribe battle in the courts as Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt is known to be somewhat reticent about expanded gaming. The Republican leader has purportedly been dragging his feet in sportsbetting negotiations with the Chickasaw Nation, which is responsible for more than a dozen local casinos including the WinStar World Casino and Resort facility near the jurisdiction’s southern border with Texas.
Although the Chickasaw Nation has so far officially declined to disclose how it intends to proceed, the tribe’s Commerce Secretary, Dan Boren, reportedly noted that the thumbs up marks the first such decision to involve an Oklahoma-based tribe. The experienced figure purportedly went on to divulge that the verdict moreover shows how aboriginal groups are moving towards mobile gaming even in the face of push-back from state officials.
Reportedly read a written statement from Boren…
“We look forward to sharing more operational details as this process unfolds.”
Despite the fact that federal laws limit tribal gaming to reservation lands, this landscape has reportedly changed dramatically in Oklahoma since the 2020 United States Supreme Court ruling that determined almost half of the state remained under the administration of the Chickasaw Nation and its compatriot Cherokee Nation, Choctaw Nation, Seminole Nation and Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Local attorney Mike McBride purportedly asserted that this decision furthermore expanded the tribe’s territory right up to the southern suburbs of Oklahoma City with its population of approximately 1.4 million people and gave the groups ‘additional strength and leverage’ as they attempt to come to an agreement on sportsbetting.
McBride reportedly told the newspaper…
“The Chickasaw Nation basically having its entire reservation area being Indian Country, that really opens up the geographic territory where ‘Class II’ gaming could occur, where the mobile gaming could occur. It doesn’t necessarily have to be tethered to one of the casinos that the Chickasaw Nation has anymore.”
The Oklahoman reported that Ken Luttrell from the Oklahoma House of Representatives unsuccessfully attempted to get legislation passed earlier this year that would have allowed all of the state’s tribes to premiere sports wagering. The 69-year-old Republican purportedly predicted that the ultimate fate of expanded gaming in ‘The Sooner State’ could well come down to who is sitting in the Governor’s Mansion as Stitt has long claimed these operations have been funding adverts attacking his ongoing re-election campaign.
Luttrell reportedly told The Oklahoman…
“It may end up being largely who the governor is after this election on how things can progress and how quickly.”