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Governor Seeks Approval for Tribal Gaming Compacts in Oklahoma

Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma has requested legislative approval for two tribal gaming compacts that were previously rejected by the state's highest court. The compacts involve the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB) and the Kialegee Tribal Town (KTT). These tribes are not currently members of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA), but the compacts would grant them access to the gaming market. The Governor believes that these compacts are beneficial for all Oklahomans as they require a higher percentage of gaming revenue to be remanded to the state.

The proposed compacts would provide the state with more revenue through exclusivity fees ranging from 12% to 15%. They have been endorsed by the Governor's Communications Director, Abegail Cave, who states that they are better deals for everyone and demonstrate Governor Stitt's ability to negotiate agreements with tribes. The compacts are identical to those presented in 2020 and would be valid once approved by the Joint Committee on State-Tribal Relations. The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Chairman, Matthew Morgan, expressed disappointment with these compacts, as they differ from the model compact offered by the state back in 2004, and were previously deemed illegal by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

While the state is able to negotiate terms that deviate from the model gaming compact, some legal experts believe that there may be challenges to the modified compacts. Native American law attorney, Robert Gifford, explains that the compacts still have to follow the law and can be subject to issues such as public policy and infringement on the sovereignty of other tribes. Despite potential controversies, Governor Stitt sees the modification as a strategic and political move.

Overall, the compacts seek to expand gaming opportunities for the UKB and KTT tribes, while also generating additional revenue for the state of Oklahoma.

Sources:
– [KFOR](https://kfor.com/news/local/governor-stitt-requests-approval-for-tribal-gaming-compacts-rejected-by-oklahoma-supreme-court/)
– [News 4](https://kfor.com/news/local/governor-stitt-requests-approval-for-tribal-gaming-compacts-rejected-by-oklahoma-supreme-court/)