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Cherokee Nation chief responds to Gov. Stitt's push for Class III gaming shutdown

Casino gaming. (KTUL photo)
Casino gaming. (KTUL photo)
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Gov. Stitt is standing firm that the casino gaming compact has expired and is pushing for a federal court to shut down Class III casino gaming.

It's in response to a lawsuit filed by the Cherokee, Choctaw and Chickasaw tribal nations against the governor.

“Common sense tells us that no contract goes on in perpetuity, one-sided, for the benefit of one side and to the detriment of one side," said Gov. Stitt.

A controversial contract and a recent lawsuit has put Gov. Stitt at odds with tribal nations.

Thursday he spoke at a press conference at the capital in response to his decision to ask a federal judge to shut down Class III casino gaming across Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association says Class III gaming involves Vegas style shot machines and tables with dice.

“I'm not trying to hurt the gaming industry, but lets make sure this is a fair deal, I would not be doing my job as governor if I simply auto renewed a contract that’s not fair for Oklahomans," said Gov. Stitt.

“I am the chief of the Cherokee Nation, where the facts are on our side, the law is on our side I believe we will win," said Cherokee Nation chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

The OIGA says 90% of the 130 plus casinos statewide operate with Class III gaming, including casinos run by the Cherokee Nation.

Thursday Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin responded to Stitt.

“The compact only covers Class III and Class III are the only direct fees that the state law gets under federal law, so to say Class III is gone means that the dollars are gone to the state, we don’t want that that’s why we signed the compact in the first place," said Hoskin.

Chief Hoskin says he doesn’t believe Gov. Stitt will win the lawsuit, so he's not fearful of how the state would enforce shutting down class three gaming if a court sides with the state.

The Cherokee Nation, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nation are all apart of the lawsuit against the state.

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