Tribes Say Gaming Compacts Renew; State Says New Deal Needed

Tuesday, December 31st 2019, 8:29 am
By: Shannon Rousseau

Time is running out for the state and Oklahoma Native American tribes to reach a new gaming agreement.

Governor Kevin Stitt said without a new deal class three gaming like slots, blackjack, and roulette would become illegal at midnight Tuesday if a contract is not extended.

For months, the governor has insisted the current compact expires at the end of the year.

However, the 32 Oklahoma Tribal Nations are united and say the compacts re-new automatically. The dilemma has caused uncertainty on what will or will not be legal starting tomorrow.

Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association's Matthew Morgan said "I think tribes have been very clear on this point. We believe the compact triggers have already been met to auto-renew. We don't need an extension to operate after January 1st."

Something both sides do agree on is the possibility of a legal battle in the future. 

The Chickasaw Nation has already filed a notice with the Department of Interior on this issue.