Letter to the Editor from Rosette

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 5:32pm

“When Governor Stitt took a legal position that the Comanche Nation’s Gaming Compact expired on December 31, 2019, the Comanche Nation sued Governor Stitt and the State of Oklahoma.  Indeed, the Nation takes the legal position—and continues to take the legal position in unity with all Oklahoma tribes—that the Gaming Compacts automatically renew.   So why would the Nation now voluntarily dismiss its lawsuit against Governor Stitt and Oklahoma?   The bottom line is that the Nation signed a Compact that is much better than its old Gaming Compact.  For example, the Nation now pays only 4.5% in revenue sharing to the State as opposed to the 6% it previously paid.  Not only does the Nation pay less in revenue share to the State, but it now has the ability to provide full-blown Class III gaming including the operation of a sportsbook.   For example, now patrons won’t have to pay an “ante” to play a hand of blackjack, and patrons can now place a bet on the Dallas Cowboys on a Sunday afternoon.  These types of new games will provide the Nation with a competitive advantage over all other tribes in its market-area, including the Dallas market.    The Nation also has the express concurrence and approval of the Governor and State to build three new casinos near Will Rogers International Airport in Oklahoma City;  Chickasha, Oklahoma along Interstate 44; and on the Texas Border along Interstate 35.   If any of these locations receive requisite federal approval, the Nation will exponentially increase its gaming revenues thereby increasing the badly needed funding required to provide essential government services to the Comanche people.   So, even if the Nation stayed in the litigation against Governor Stitt and prevailed, the Nation would have protected a detrimental Compact that requires the Nation to pay 6% of its revenues to the State, does not allow for expanded Class III gaming like sportsbook, and does not provide Governor concurrence—which is required under federal law—for new lucrative locations.  It begs the question, why would the Nation stay embroiled in a lawsuit fighting for an old compact that is not as good as its new compact?   While the Nation continues to stand in unity with all Oklahoma tribes that the old compact automatically renews, it chose the path that is best for the Comanche people.”
Robert A. Rosette
Rosette, LLP
Attorneys at Law