Local tribes looking towards renewal of gaming compact

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NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA — With January 1st only a few days away, many are concerned as a 15 year gaming compact between tribes and the state of Oklahoma is set to end.

Tribal leaders in Oklahoma have stayed united for the current gaming compact to automatically renew on January 1st.

35 Oklahoma tribes met last week and they say they plan to continue on with business as usual.

With the renewal of the compact, tribes say this would allow them to keep their exclusivity fees the same instead of increasing the percentage owed to the state.

Governor Kevin Stitt is in favor of the raising of the fees.

During the past few months, the governor and tribes have been working to renegotiate a new agreement.

But have been unsuccessful and they are still at odds.

Billy Friend, Wyandotte Nation Chief, said, “We have 13 casinos with in a very small county with a very small demographic here. None of us are thriving we are surviving. We are not making a lot of money here simply because the market is over saturated here in Ottawa County.”

Friend adds tribes are willing to consider adding sports gaming and sports book in their casinos.

This could possibly bring more revenue in for the state.

But he says they are not looking at raising the percentages the tribes owes the state.

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