OKLAHOMA – New studies released indicate Oklahoma Tribes contributed almost $13 billion to the state in 2017.
Tribal Chief of Wyandotte Nation Billy Friend say it’s important everyone be made aware of the impact tribes have. Especially since renegotiating gaming compacts is coming up between tribes and state leaders. Friend says Wyandotte Nation has contributed more than $70 million investments locally within the last 20 years. As far as employment across the state, tribes are responsible for about 96,000 jobs.
“You know a lot of times people see tribes and they see the casinos. You know there’s much more than that. I mean we are a sovereign government we provide services to our citizens. You know and the money we generate whether through gaming or other tribal enterprises. That money goes right back into providing services not only for tribal citizens, but for the community as well.”Billy Friend, Wyandotte Nation Chief
Friend adds he hopes the newly released economic impact numbers will allow Governor Kevin Stitt’s staff to be fully aware of what they do. He says this may help them reconsider raising exclusivity fees for their gaming. Earlier this week, the nine federal recognized tribes in Ottawa County signed a pact against the proposed raises.