Three Tribes File Federal Lawsuit To End Compact Renewal Dispute

OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 31, 2019) – The Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations filed a Federal lawsuit today to bring an end to the uncertainty Oklahoma Governor J. Kevin Stitt has attempted to cast over Tribal gaming operations. The suit names Governor Stitt in his official capacity and seeks a judicial declaration that the gaming compacts renew in accord with their express terms, effective January 1, 2020. The Nations provided a copy of the Federal complaint to Governor Stitt, along with a letter explaining their reasons for filing it. Counsel for the Nations, former United States Circuit Judge Robert Henry, provided a companion letter and copy of the complaint to Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.

While revenue-share rates have generated significant public interest, the Nations’ lawsuit does not address those matters. It instead calls for the court to declare the legal effect of the compact’s Part 15.B., which states—This Compact shall have a term which will expire on January 1, 2020, and at that time, if organization licensees or others are authorized to conduct electronic gaming in any form other than pari-mutuel wagering on live horse racing pursuant to any governmental action of the state or court order following the effective date of this Compact, the Compact shall automatically renew for successive additional fifteen-year terms.

 

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