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Losing Streak: Oklahoma’s Tribes Win the Gaming Battle Against Governor Stitt

6:27 AM EDT on July 30, 2020

Even though Governor Kevin Stitt claims to have some Native blood in him, he seemingly has it out for the Indigenous people of Oklahoma, with his attack on Oklahoma’s Native-owned casinos his most devious attempt yet. But, with all the judgments against him from the Supreme Courts to the Supreme Being, it seems that all his hate is working against him lately.

This week, the Indigenous people of Oklahoma were given yet another win against him, this time in the form of a ruling on the controversial tribal gaming compacts. In a long-standing deal with Oklahoma, Native tribes pay the state over $140 million dollars a year in gaming exclusivity fees, something that Stitt and his cronies thought should be more. A lot more.

Using well over $1.5 million dollars of our state’s money to fight the tribes and this honorable agreement, the courts effectively told Stitt to go to Hell in another landmark decision stating that the compacts automatically renewed this January when no new agreements with the state were reached. I guess someone should have explained “automatically renew” to Stitt.

“This is a strong affirmation of what we have known all along,” Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton said in response to the verdict. “The plain language of the compact stated that it renewed on January 1, 2020. We are grateful this issue has been resolved and are ready to put it behind us. We look forward to continuing to serve our tribal members by providing health care, education and jobs in the communities where we live and work.”

The main criticism I’ve heard from supporters of Stitt and his anti-Indian antics is that the tribes earn over $4.5 billion in revenue from gaming and, with that much revenue, they can afford a couple more million dollars to spare—which is rich considering how much land the government has stolen from original owners of this state. You’re lucky we’re giving you what we're giving you, Stitt.

And besides…is it really our fault if many Oklahomans like to gamble their paychecks away?

Money earned by the casinos goes into each and every tribe and rightfully supports tribal members when our own government wouldn’t. From gym shoes when I was in middle school to the health care that is currently keeping me alive, I’m living proof of where all those slot machine dollars go, as are thousands of Oklahoma Natives.

But, still, Stitt seems to have a vendetta against the Indigenous people of this land, people that he claims to be a part of. If he doesn’t spend more of our tax-dollars attempting to find some loopholes around this decision, I’m sure he’ll figure out some other intrusive ways to screw over the Natives of Oklahoma, all in the name of pathetic payback.

And I’m sure we’ll beat him down again, unless the Creator does it first with the Covid-19...but I’m sure some hydroxychloroquine will clear that right up.

_

Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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