Matthew Morgan, chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, has rejected Gov. Kevin Stitt’s latest casino gambling offer and accused the governor of attempting to take advantage of the tribes during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Morgan termed the governor’s offer as “yet another unsuccessful attempt to divide the tribes.”
“The letter confirms the real intent of Governor Stitt is to destroy the tribal interest outlined in the existing compacts. The tribal leaders who received the letter reject the proposal as disrespectful and disingenuous,” Morgan said.
Steve Mullins, one of Stitt’s outside attorneys, wrote in a letter to the tribal leaders that the Corona pandemic has changed the landscape for tribal and non-tribal governments.
“Now more than ever is the time for us to stand together,” Mullins wrote.
Included with the letter is the proposed new compact, which would require tribes to pay a flat 5% fee on gambling revenue and authorise both the tribe and the state to offer sports gambling, Morgan said.
The compact would also vest more power with the state to interfere in tribal casino operations, such as approval of casino vendors and installation of a minimum number of electronic machines in casino floor.
“This compact is a huge power grab for his office,” Morgan said.