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Judge Extends Deadline for Gaming Compact Mediation

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The deadline for Oklahoma tribes and Governor Kevin Stitt to come to an agreement on gaming compacts has been extended.

Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy DeGiusti moved the mediation deadline in the tribes’ lawsuit against Stitt from March 31 to May 31. A status hearing set for April 3 has been postponed indefinitely.

Three tribes sued Stitt on Dec. 31, asking for a declaration gaming compacts renewed automatically. Stitt responded by asking the judge to find the compacts expired and declare Class III gaming illegal.

Stitt wants tribes to pay higher exclusivity fees, which currently range from 4% to 10%, depending on the type of game. Tribal leaders have said they are willing to discuss changing rates if Stitt concedes their compacts renew automatically.

Tribes and the governor are prohibited from publicly discussing the mediation process.

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