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Lawmaker proposes increasing gaming at casinos to offset Oklahoma budget hole

State leaders will meet for a special session to discuss the budget later this month. (KTUL)

An Oklahoma lawmaker wants to further tax cigarettes and increase Indian gaming at casinos to solve the state’s budget problems.

“I think that is a mistake and I think the state of Oklahoma has proven that doesn’t work. We heard for years, well that is going to save is going to save our education crisis. Well, it didn’t do it,” said JaNa White, who helps many people save money on their medicine.

White says she sees first hand the funding issues in the state.

State Rep. Kevin Wallace, who heads up the House Appropriations and Budget Chair, believes the proposal would help solve Oklahoma’s more than $200 million shortfall.

Wallace is proposing allowing Indian casinos to increase gaming to include dice and roulette, which could be tied to compacts and other benefits.

Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr. released a statement: “If a further expansion of gaming is on the table, it should also be planned out with a strategic goal in mind that is beneficial to all parties not because our state leaders in the Republican-led House and Senate have made poor fiscal decisions and need a quick fix.”

State leaders will meet for a special session to discuss the budget later this month.


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