Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tribe Frustrated Gaming Compact Unsigned

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tribe Frustrated Gaming Compact Unsigned

Article excerpt

By Bill Johnson

Associated Press

An attorney for the Citizen Band Potawatomi tribe said Wednesday he and the tribe feel frustrated that a gaming compact negotiated with the state had not been signed.

"We negotiated in good faith for six months," said David McCullough. He said the negotiation had gone so well that Bob Nance, the state's negotiator, "said on Monday let's sign."

The snag came when Gov. David Walters did not return from an out of town trip until late Tuesday. Bill Crain, the governor's press secretary, said Wednesday morning he doubted the governor had seen the compact yet and "he will not sign it today."

As a result, the Legislature's Joint Committee on State Tribal Relations did not take up the proposed compact at its Wednesday meeting.

The signature of the governor and approval by the committee is required before the compact can be submitted to the secretary of Interior for final action.

Nance and the tribal negotiators had worked out a compact under which the Potwatomi would offer a video lottery on tribal land. If approved, it would be the first stateibal gaming compact negotiated successfully in Oklahoma.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 requires states to negotiate with tribes that want to offer gambling above the level of bingo. It says the tribes can offer only the same type of gambling that is offered anywhere in that state.

Walters has said legal research indicated that a lottery and parituel horse racing would be proper subjects for the state to negotiate with tribes.

"The state had said it would compact a lottery, so we dropped any thoughts of any other type of gaming," McCullough said.

"We have been negotiating for six months," he said. "We have answered every one of the state's questions."

The proposed compact was very narrow in not only specifying a video lottery, but also the specific game and manufacturer, McCullough said. …

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