Federal court sides with OK tribes in compact dispute

29 July 2020

The US District Court for Western Oklahoma has ruled in favour of tribal operators in the state, determining that Oklahoma’s tribal gaming compacts automatically renewed on 1 January of this year.

US District Court Judge Timothy DeGiusti sided with tribes including the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations who sued Governor Kevin Stitt. They argued that the compacts did not end when the 15-year compact came to a close but rather automatically renewed for a further 15 years.

Stitt, on the other hand, claimed that the compacts came to an end, and would have to be renegotiated.

DeGiusi agreed with the tribes’ interpretation of the contracts, that they allowed for automatic renewal if other non-tribal organisations were authorised to offer electronic gaming other than on-course pari-mutuel wagering.

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