Governor Kevin Stitt today issued the following statement in response to the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association’s press conference to announce a rejection of the State’s offer to extend tribal gaming compacts by eight months.
“The State offered the extension to protect the parties’ legal positions and to provide legal certainty to those working with or visiting the casinos as the January 1, 2020 deadline approaches,” said Gov. Stitt. “I am disappointed that the tribes turned our offer down and refused our requests to negotiate new compact terms that better address the parties’ changing needs. I will continue to work to protect the State’s interests, and I hope that those running the casino industry will negotiate with the State in good faith as these compacts demand.”
The State’s offer would have extended the gaming compacts’ Jan. 1, 2020 date, referenced in Part 15B, to August 31, 2020. The extension made no further amendments to Part 15B and included clear language that allows both parties to maintain their legal positions, stating, “Whereas, the Tribe and the State desire to preserve their respective legal arguments regarding that disagreement.”
In the State’s letter to the tribes on Wednesday, Gov. Stitt said, “The State of Oklahoma is offering an extension to all current gaming compacts between tribes and the State in order to allow us the necessary time to negotiate. An extension will also alleviate any questions or concerns that lenders, employees, entertainers, vendors, and patrons have concerning whether the Class III gaming activities at the casinos are legal as of January 1, 2020.”