Mediator Selected and Five More Tribes Join Gaming Compact Lawsuit

Feb 17, 2020

Credit Whitney Bryen-Oklahoma Watch

A mediator has been appointed in the gaming compact dispute between Gov. Kevin Stitt and what's now 11 Oklahoma tribes.

Former U.S. District Judge Layn R. Phillips will try to broker an agreement in the months-long disagreement between Stitt and the tribes over whether gaming compacts expired at the end of 2019 or renewed automatically. The Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations sued Stitt Dec. 31, asking a judge to rule the compacts renewed automatically.

Stitt believes the compacts expired and asked the judge to find Class III gaming illegal.

Five more tribes joined the lawsuit Friday, which was the deadline set by Chief United States District Judge Timothy DeGiusti for any remaining tribes to do so. The Comanche, Delaware, Otoe-Missouria, Ponca and Seminole nations are now part of the suit.

The Citizen Potawatomi, Muscogee (Creek), and Quapaw nations joined the lawsuit ahead of Friday's deadline.

DeGiusti ordered mediation to be completed by March 31.