TigerWu
TigerWu
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February 4th, 2020 at 3:32:37 PM permalink
The Governor of Oklahoma and local Indian tribes have been butting heads over casino contracts. The Governor is saying as of January 1st, gambling is now illegal in the state (despite all casinos remaining open) due to contracts expiring. The tribes are saying, B.S., the contracts automatically renew. The Governor is now saying unless the tribes renegotiate the contracts, he might start allowing for-profit, commercial casinos to start setting up shop in OK, claiming they'll bring in more money than what can be brought in from the tribes' casinos if they don't renegotiate.

Not many people seem to be on the Governor's side, but it will be interesting to see what happens. I've made it no secret that I'm no fan of how the tribes run their casinos, so I'm kind of the Governor's side.

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Mission146
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Minty
February 4th, 2020 at 4:59:04 PM permalink
Quote: TigerWu

The Governor of Oklahoma and local Indian tribes have been butting heads over casino contracts. The Governor is saying as of January 1st, gambling is now illegal in the state (despite all casinos remaining open) due to contracts expiring. The tribes are saying, B.S., the contracts automatically renew. The Governor is now saying unless the tribes renegotiate the contracts, he might start allowing for-profit, commercial casinos to start setting up shop in OK, claiming they'll bring in more money than what can be brought in from the tribes' casinos if they don't renegotiate.

Not many people seem to be on the Governor's side, but it will be interesting to see what happens. I've made it no secret that I'm no fan of how the tribes run their casinos, so I'm kind of the Governor's side.

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The Governor is a straight *******, in my opinion.

The fact of the matter is this: You have a state that has traditionally been conservative on Commercial Gambling who could have legalized it anytime they wanted to. The original compact with the tribes allowed only for Class II (Electronic Bingo) slots as well as for actual bingo. Had the state legalized Commercial Casinos while that original compact was in effect, then they would have had to allow the Tribes to have the same games as the casinos have. More than that, Oklahoma doesn't have legalized slot parlors, which is what many of these, "Tribal Casinos," actually are. Some of them are what you would normally call a, "Casino," and WinStar is the biggest casino on the planet.

Quote:

Under the compacts, tribes pay monthly exclusivity fees based on a sliding scale for Class III electronic
games. For the first $10 million in revenue, tribes pay 4 percent to the state; for the next $10 million, the
payment is 5 percent; and for revenues more than $20 million, the payment is 6 percent. Tribes pay 10
percent of the monthly net win from table games.



https://omes.ok.gov/sites/g/files/gmc316/f/publications/GameCompAnnReport2018.pdf

Anyway, Oklahoma could never tax them on Class II even if they wanted to. Instead, Oklahoma agreed to, "Exclusivity Fees," which are really just a tax under a different name, but apply to Class III machines and tables. It's just that you can't call it a, "Tax," because it's not legal for them to tax a tribe on its own land.

The Tribal Casinos wanted to be competitive not just with Las Vegas, but also that so many more states are legalizing more and more types of Commercial Gambling. It's very difficult to compete when the only thing you can offer is, "Not real slot machines," not that it should really matter (other than selection) for some 99.4% of your slots players out there. Video poker is a different story, of course.

Anyway, the revenue from the, "Exclusivity Fee," has exceeded expectations and increased year-after-year-after-year...current revenues blew even projections that were considered lofty out of the water. That should continue because Class III machines continue to replace Class II machines (they can have both) in the Oklahoma Tribal Casinos.

Now, these idiots in the Government of Oklahoma have finally figured out how much revenue Commercial Casinos could be making which is how much revenue the state would make in tax revenues (probably 30-60% of casino revenues, on average) and they see what they have already lost by not having it all of these years. I think that they also look at the tax some states are getting on Commercial Gambling revenues and now they're saying, "Oh, ****, we screwed up. We gave the tribes way too good of a deal."

So, now the state wants to find a way out of it, huh? Screw them. They never had to enter the Class III agreement with the tribes to begin with and could have legalized Commercial Gambling casinos anytime they wanted to, they just never wanted to. Screw that Governor and the horse he rode in on.

The Tribes have the current number and location of casinos in a manner that has come to pass based on true competition. There are so many tribes in the State and they occupy so many areas that they have basically, "Right-sized," all the gambling venues, for the most part. If you ask me, I think they're doing an awesome job overall.

They can buy/build where they want to, they don't need a state that picks winners and losers based on license bids, project projections, or whatever. If they want to build a casino, they build a casino and the market decides.
Vultures can't be choosers.
beachbumbabs
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February 4th, 2020 at 5:38:42 PM permalink
I disagree, based on personal experience only. I'm with the governor - the NA tribes have had 10 years or whatever to offer competitive games, and they haven't. I would go so far as to say they price-fix at a higher cost to the player than nearly any other jurisdiction, similar to the Florida Seminoles.

Bring in the commercial casinos and up the revenue to the state, offer better games and force the NA to compete for the gambler's dollars.

No question the tribes have spent wild amounts of money making beautiful plants. But so has the Strip, with more expense, and offering better games in most places.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
Gandler
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February 4th, 2020 at 5:54:59 PM permalink
I don't live in Oklahoma so I think ultimately it should be a decision for the residents there.

But speaking generally, I am against Tribal Casinos, very shady,I much prefer casinos run by reputable corporations and regulated by transparent enforcement agencies.

I am also against casinos where I live because I think casinos attract the wrong crowds and deteriorate communities. Don't get me wrong I love casinos, but not where I live.

That being said, my knowledge of OK politicts is limited, as is my knowledge of the tribal casinos there or how common they are. But, if tribal casinos are already highly proliferated throughout the state, it may be a good idea to saturate them with legitimate casinos (assuming zoned into appropriate locations).

So I guess I can see my view going either way, legal casinos mean less power to tribes (a good thing), but it also may mean more casinos (a bad thing). Like I said that is just my view as somebody with no vested interest, it is ultimately up to the residents to advocate what will be the best for their health and welfare.

(I am happy to be in a state with no casinos tribal or legit).
Mission146
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February 4th, 2020 at 6:43:48 PM permalink
Competitive

As far as competitive games are concerned, according to VPFree2, the State of Oklahoma has any number of 99%+ returning video poker games. If they are Class III units, then they have to operate independently and on an RNG, otherwise they would not be Class III units.

More than that, WinStar went from being a mid-size casino to being the largest casino in the world in just a few years. Unfortunately, Resort Fees have spread to Oklahoma, (a few places, not most) but they sure as hell didn't start there. They started in the so-called, 'Competitive,' market. Beyond that, most of the ones in Oklahoma (not all) that do charge a resort fee could at least be mistaken for a resort.

I have not found a casino in Oklahoma that charges for parking in all of my reading.

I would also want to know what automatically makes the Tribal Casinos shady? They are a sovereign Government, so they're allowed to do whatever they want to. Some might consider it, "Shady," to have run them off their native lands.

Model of Corruption

If you guys want to know who is corrupt, look no further than The Buckeye State, Ohio.

1.) They tax casinos at a rate of 33%.

2.) They tax citizens at a rate of 4% of all gambling winnings. However, unlike the Federal Government, you CAN NOT offset your wins with losses in the state. Income level? Doesn't matter. Four percent. Lost $100,000 that year gambling? Irrelevant. Four percent. You get a W2-G, you pay 4% if you're an Ohio resident.

3.) They said, here are the winning cities: Columbus, Toledo, Cincinnati, Cleveland

Here are the winning companies: Caesars Entertainment (at the time), Penn National Gaming

We are licensing FOUR AND ONLY FOUR casinos, screw what the market wants.

What? Marietta could sustain a midsize casino? Screw Marietta.

Youngstown could sustain a casino? Screw Youngstown.

Zanesville could have a midsize? No way! Are you kidding? Too close to Hollywood Columbus.

4.) Even that, that wasn't good enough.

CASINOS: Oh my God, but the racinos are allowed to have machines now. How could you do this to us? This is awful!

OHIO: Hush now, my pretties. There, there. Will it make you feel better if we never let the racinos have video poker or table games?

CASINOS: Okay, but parlors could be a problem.

OHIO: Don't worry, we won't even allow there to be parlors. It would also make the racinos mad, anyway.


HOLLYWOOD TOLEDO: Hey, Ohio Government, what up, sauce? Listen, we've got a little bit of a pickle, let me tell you...See, thing is we have a casino license here in Toledo, but we also have a racetrack up here that can become a racino that we are licensed for. Do you see the problem?

OHIO: There, there, sweet prince. Who's my good little boy? You know you're my sweet little prince, don't you? We do see the problem, you can either sell the racetrack which creates competition for slots players, have a license for a racino that you are not using, or essentially compete with yourselves, right?

HOLLYWOOD TOLEDO: Yes, Daddy, and we don't like any of those things because they're all stinky.

OHIO: Don't use words like, 'Stinky,' my charming little boy, just move the track.

HOLLYWOOD TOLEDO: Daddy, how do you? Do you just pick it up and---

OHIO: No, no, silly boy. Go forth to Dayton and build a new track there, same license.

HOLLYWOOD TOLDEO: Thank you, Daddy.


HOLLYWOOD COLUMBUS: Daddy?

OHIO: Yes, my sweet boy?

HOLLYWOOD COLUMBUS: You know the problem Brother Toledo had? Same thing here, except with Beulah Park. Can we please move it somewhere else, Daddy?

OHIO: Go ahead.

HOLLYWOOD COLUMBUS: Can you also do something about Scioto Downs?

OHIO: We'd love to, really we would, but someone else already owns that.

Back to Oklahoma

***Anyway, there are thirty something casino-owning tribes in Oklahoma. They can make them as large or as small as they wish. In Ohio, the most entities that could even theoretically own an actual casino is four...because that's how many casino licenses there are.

If Oklahoma tells me there will be parlors, then I will start to listen.

And, again, they can legalize Commercial Casinos ANYTIME THEY WANT TO, they could do it tomorrow. What they want to do right now is shut down the Class III immediately so that some of the existing Tribal Casinos end up closing due to lack of revenues before the Commercial Casinos are even built. They're effectively trying to clear the way so that the Commercial Casinos have less meaningful competition.

Granted, as soon as the first Commercial Casino opens, it's open season for the Tribes to have Class III (with no fees at all) again, but how many of those places go under in the time it takes the new Commercial Casinos to be built?

They could accept the compact as renewed and continue to collect revenues until the new Commercial Casinos open, but instead, they would rather take Class III away from the tribes now.

It's not just about opening new places, it's about actively trying to shut existing ones down.
Vultures can't be choosers.
Gialmere
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February 4th, 2020 at 6:55:54 PM permalink
Hmm... I suppose it comes down to what the word "exclusivity" means in the term "exclusivity fees". If the state--with foolish lack of foresight--signed a deal giving the tribes exclusive rights to casino gambling then it's pretty much though wampum paleface.

Maybe Oklahoma can use legalized sports betting as a bargaining chip to renegotiate. If not, well, a deal's a deal.
Have you tried 22 tonight? I said 22.
Gandler
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February 4th, 2020 at 8:02:11 PM permalink
Quote: Mission146

Competitive

As far as competitive games are concerned, according to VPFree2, the State of Oklahoma has any number of 99%+ returning video poker games. If they are Class III units, then they have to operate independently and on an RNG, otherwise they would not be Class III units.

More than that, WinStar went from being a mid-size casino to being the largest casino in the world in just a few years. Unfortunately, Resort Fees have spread to Oklahoma, (a few places, not most) but they sure as hell didn't start there. They started in the so-called, 'Competitive,' market. Beyond that, most of the ones in Oklahoma (not all) that do charge a resort fee could at least be mistaken for a resort.

I have not found a casino in Oklahoma that charges for parking in all of my reading.

I would also want to know what automatically makes the Tribal Casinos shady? They are a sovereign Government, so they're allowed to do whatever they want to. Some might consider it, "Shady," to have run them off their native lands.

Model of Corruption

If you guys want to know who is corrupt, look no further than The Buckeye State, Ohio.

1.) They tax casinos at a rate of 33%.

2.) They tax citizens at a rate of 4% of all gambling winnings. However, unlike the Federal Government, you CAN NOT offset your wins with losses in the state. Income level? Doesn't matter. Four percent. Lost $100,000 that year gambling? Irrelevant. Four percent. You get a W2-G, you pay 4% if you're an Ohio resident.

3.) They said, here are the winning cities: Columbus, Toledo, Cincinnati, Cleveland

Here are the winning companies: Caesars Entertainment (at the time), Penn National Gaming

We are licensing FOUR AND ONLY FOUR casinos, screw what the market wants.

What? Marietta could sustain a midsize casino? Screw Marietta.

Youngstown could sustain a casino? Screw Youngstown.

Zanesville could have a midsize? No way! Are you kidding? Too close to Hollywood Columbus.

4.) Even that, that wasn't good enough.

CASINOS: Oh my God, but the racinos are allowed to have machines now. How could you do this to us? This is awful!

OHIO: Hush now, my pretties. There, there. Will it make you feel better if we never let the racinos have video poker or table games?

CASINOS: Okay, but parlors could be a problem.

OHIO: Don't worry, we won't even allow there to be parlors. It would also make the racinos mad, anyway.


HOLLYWOOD TOLEDO: Hey, Ohio Government, what up, sauce? Listen, we've got a little bit of a pickle, let me tell you...See, thing is we have a casino license here in Toledo, but we also have a racetrack up here that can become a racino that we are licensed for. Do you see the problem?

OHIO: There, there, sweet prince. Who's my good little boy? You know you're my sweet little prince, don't you? We do see the problem, you can either sell the racetrack which creates competition for slots players, have a license for a racino that you are not using, or essentially compete with yourselves, right?

HOLLYWOOD TOLEDO: Yes, Daddy, and we don't like any of those things because they're all stinky.

OHIO: Don't use words like, 'Stinky,' my charming little boy, just move the track.

HOLLYWOOD TOLEDO: Daddy, how do you? Do you just pick it up and---

OHIO: No, no, silly boy. Go forth to Dayton and build a new track there, same license.

HOLLYWOOD TOLDEO: Thank you, Daddy.


HOLLYWOOD COLUMBUS: Daddy?

OHIO: Yes, my sweet boy?

HOLLYWOOD COLUMBUS: You know the problem Brother Toledo had? Same thing here, except with Beulah Park. Can we please move it somewhere else, Daddy?

OHIO: Go ahead.

HOLLYWOOD COLUMBUS: Can you also do something about Scioto Downs?

OHIO: We'd love to, really we would, but someone else already owns that.

Back to Oklahoma

***Anyway, there are thirty something casino-owning tribes in Oklahoma. They can make them as large or as small as they wish. In Ohio, the most entities that could even theoretically own an actual casino is four...because that's how many casino licenses there are.

If Oklahoma tells me there will be parlors, then I will start to listen.

And, again, they can legalize Commercial Casinos ANYTIME THEY WANT TO, they could do it tomorrow. What they want to do right now is shut down the Class III immediately so that some of the existing Tribal Casinos end up closing due to lack of revenues before the Commercial Casinos are even built. They're effectively trying to clear the way so that the Commercial Casinos have less meaningful competition.

Granted, as soon as the first Commercial Casino opens, it's open season for the Tribes to have Class III (with no fees at all) again, but how many of those places go under in the time it takes the new Commercial Casinos to be built?

They could accept the compact as renewed and continue to collect revenues until the new Commercial Casinos open, but instead, they would rather take Class III away from the tribes now.

It's not just about opening new places, it's about actively trying to shut existing ones down.




Based on my interpretation of what I have read in this thread and doing some brief googling, if the Govenor gets his way, Tribal Casinos would be shut down or greatly diminished. This would allow commercial casinos to open up in planned locations conducive to the health and welfare of the state (which would cap density and location). Speaking as an outsider, I like the sound of that, and I would support that if I were a resident.

Like I said I would oppose casinos. But, since tribal casinos already cover the state by the sounds of it, this option would mean less casinos, and in a more restricted and planned environment. You can't just pop them up on random tribal land, it would go through many reviews and approval processes to ensure the best locations and the right limit of casinos.

It sounds like OK made a mistake with their deal and are trying to avoid renewing it. I can't really blame either side for aggressivley pushing for their interests.
Puckerbutt
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Mission146
February 4th, 2020 at 9:28:14 PM permalink
I live in Oklahoma and Governor Stitt won't win this battle in my opinion. There may be some sort of renegotiation on the compact as the tribes have already stated a willingness to do so, but there won't be movement anywhere near the percentage paid to the state as Stitt desires.

As a side note - Stitt is the first tribal member (Cherokee) to be elected Governor of Oklahoma. (That statement was based off a newspaper article I read, but I just googled to verify and maybe he is the 2nd behind Johnston Murray.)
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Mission146
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February 5th, 2020 at 5:50:50 AM permalink
Quote: Gandler



Based on my interpretation of what I have read in this thread and doing some brief googling, if the Govenor gets his way, Tribal Casinos would be shut down or greatly diminished. This would allow commercial casinos to open up in planned locations conducive to the health and welfare of the state (which would cap density and location). Speaking as an outsider, I like the sound of that, and I would support that if I were a resident.

Like I said I would oppose casinos. But, since tribal casinos already cover the state by the sounds of it, this option would mean less casinos, and in a more restricted and planned environment. You can't just pop them up on random tribal land, it would go through many reviews and approval processes to ensure the best locations and the right limit of casinos.

It sounds like OK made a mistake with their deal and are trying to avoid renewing it. I can't really blame either side for aggressivley pushing for their interests.



The way that I understand it is that it would essentially go back to the old status quo of Class II gaming, which the state couldn't do anything about even if they wanted to. The Tribal Casinos would be reduced to physical and electronic bingo (Class II slots). They would essentially be completely gutted as over half of the machines (in some cases) are Class III.

Anyway, it would not, "Allow," commercial casinos to open up because Oklahoma can already authorize that anytime it wants to do so. More relevantly, as soon as the first of those casinos opens, then the tribes will be permitted to have Class III gaming (with no exclusivity fee) and there is nothing that the state could do about it. The state's goal is just to try to shut down as many current casinos as possible to reduce the competition for the commercial casinos that might come in.

It would not cap density and location because the tribes could still open as many casinos back up (with Class III) as they wanted to provided it is on their own lands. The Governor just wants to shut them down now to make the state look more attractive for commercial casino companies who might want to come in. If the state has active Commercial Casinos, they would not be able to do anything to prevent the tribes from opening their own.
Vultures can't be choosers.
Mission146
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February 5th, 2020 at 6:31:25 AM permalink
Quote: Puckerbutt

I live in Oklahoma and Governor Stitt won't win this battle in my opinion. There may be some sort of renegotiation on the compact as the tribes have already stated a willingness to do so, but there won't be movement anywhere near the percentage paid to the state as Stitt desires.

As a side note - Stitt is the first tribal member (Cherokee) to be elected Governor of Oklahoma. (That statement was based off a newspaper article I read, but I just googled to verify and maybe he is the 2nd behind Johnston Murray.)



In my view, this is perfectly within reason. The Tribal Casinos have had it really good with only 4-6% of machine revenues and 10% of table games' take being paid in exclusivity fees. I don't have any dispute that this is, and let's call it what it is here, one of the lowest gaming taxes in the entire country. I mean, it's less than Nevada takes on machine revenues. (6.75%)

Unbelievable that he's Cherokee. Benedict Arnold. The scalp dance would have already been done a couple hundred years ago with his dome as the centerpiece. He also happens to have headed up one of the mortgage companies to be considered amongst the shadiest in the country, there's a huge surprise.

Also, for those worried that Tribes can do whatever they want to, here's the compact:

https://www.ok.gov/OGC/documents/Model%20Compact.pdf

You have a TCA (Tribal Compliance Agency) and an SCA (State Compliance Agency) who work together on these types of things. Any matter that the Tribes are unable to resolve within 72 hours is to be forwarded to the SCA.

If you skip to Page 7, then you can see the minimum of everything that they must provide to the SCA, including the payouts for all games.

Go to Page 23 for the exclusivity portion. Essentially, the Tribes pay the state the percentages based on the fact that the state agrees NOT to authorize any forms of Commercial Gambling that do not already exist. If the state does authorize same, then the state voids its end of the compact and the tribes no longer need to pay any exclusivity fees.

So, what the Governor wants to do is significantly diminish the Tribes operations and cause many to close THEN AFTER THAT have the state authorize Commercial Casinos. He wants to eliminate as much competition as possible, in advance, prior to the casinos coming in.

Page 27 is where it automatically renews for fifteen years.

My Opinion on Resolution

My opinion is that this should be resolved in one of two ways, both of which would not cause any forms of gambling to cease to operate for any amount of time:

A.) The tribes agree to a new compact with a new fee schedule that is more favorable to the state.

OR:

B.) The tribes agree to a new compact by which the current fee schedule is maintained, however, the state can authorize other forms of Commercial Gambling without voiding the new compact.

Problem solved.
Vultures can't be choosers.

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