Tribe says state lottery game violates Oklahoma compacts

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
03/19/2020 02:30 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – An online state lottery game violates the gaming compacts between Oklahoma and Native American tribes and should end the exclusivity fees tribes pay the state each year, an Oklahoma-based tribe said in a court filing.

The filing on March 17 by the Anadarko-based Wichita and Affiliated Tribes argue the mobile and internet-based “second-chance promotions” authorized by the Oklahoma Lottery Commission in 2018 violate the gaming compacts the state has with multiple tribes.

Terri Parton, president of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, said the new electronic game violates the exclusivity guaranteed to tribes under the compacts.

The compacts and the exclusivity fees tribes pay the state are at the center of a lawsuit the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations filed against Gov. Kevin Stitt. The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and others have since joined the lawsuit as intervenors.

The tribes paid the state about $150 million in exclusivity fees last year, most of it for public schools. Stitt contends that the compacts expired on Jan. 1, but the tribes argue the compacts automatically renewed for another 15-year term. A federal judge has ordered mediation in the case.

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