The conflict between Oklahoma native tribes and Governor Kevin Stitt has taken a new turn and it seems things are not going to improve as initially hoped. According to the governor, their gambling compacts expired at the end of 2019, thus requiring the tribes to come back to the table to discuss new deals with the local government.

However, according to one reporter and his news posts that currently appear in, is that the tribes insist that the gambling contracts automatically renewed on the 1st of January 2020 and therefore there is no need for negotiations.

Top on that, the take on this from Associated Press perspective, is, the three tribes- Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw- did fair to have moved to court suing the governor. These tribes want the federal court to decide on the next course of action for them, whether or not the contracts have renewed.

But why is Stitt is so adamant about renegotiating the contracts? Time and again the governor has been caught on camera saying that it is time the tribes increase the share of their revenue that they pay to the local government if they want to continue operating in Oklahoma.

He is using the expiry of the compacts as a way to make new changes to the deal. On the other hand, the tribes believe the compact is still there for the next 15 years as it renewed on the 1st. Therefore, they believe they are still entitled to the same benefits they were enjoying before.

This week, the tribes sent a joint letter to Stitt stating that they have constantly tried to engage Stitt in meaningful conversations regarding their gaming compacts. Stitt has however been frustrating their efforts and has even gone ahead to accuse them of falsely while threatening them.

There are 39 tribes in Oklahoma. Two of these tribes, Cherokee and Kialegee, have already had their negotiations with the government and have reached an agreement. Their gaming compacts have been extended for eight months.

In a statement, Stitt said that he is wondering why the other tribes have not put in as much effort as the two tribes to try and find a solution to the disagreement. He said that the government offered extensions to all the tribes with no favor expected in return. He added that he is still waiting for the other tribes to come for negotiations.

Presently, the tribes give about 4 to 10 percent of their revenue to the government. They have indicated that they are willing to discuss the revenue sharing agreement with the government.

However, they will only do so if the government admits that the gambling compacts auto-renewed on January 1. On his part, the governor is not willing to admit this as it would hinder his efforts to get a bigger chunk of the tribes’ revenue. He is seeking to have the tribes pay as much as 25 percent of their revenue.