Tribes In Oklahoma in Court Over Online Gambling

Published Tuesday, December 31, 2013 -
Tribes In Oklahoma in Court Over Online Gambling

The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Concho Oklahoma USA want to offer online gaming to international players through the website The website is currently inactive but the tribes are banking on a federal court decision The tribe, wants to operate with international players, which the state agreed to under its gaming compact. Unfortunately the U.S. Department of the Interior stopped the process last month.

A lawsuit was filed by the tribal council recently in federal court in Oklahoma City, looking for a ruling by the judge to prevent the Department of the Interior from interfering in the matter. Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, and Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, are named as defendants in the law suit.

Using similar arguments that other jurisdictions in the USA used to regulate and legalize online gambling the tribes want a piece of the online gambling action. The difference is they want to invite international players to come and gamble on the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal site said Steve Mullins, general counsel for Gov. Mary Fallin.

Richard Grellner, an attorney for the tribes, commented, “It's pretty groundbreaking,” Grellner continued, “In Oklahoma, we have the Native American culture we can sell to the world, and the state and the tribes can really benefit.”

Tribe council leaders have estimated the tribes have the potential to generate $132 million per year by 2018 if the website attracts only 2 percent of the worldwide online gambling market, according to the filings in court.

The tribal compact states it would pay the state 4 percent of the first $10 million in annual net revenue from electronic gaming, 5 percent of the next $10 million and 6 percent of any subsequent amount, plus 10 percent per month from non-house banked card games, or games in which the casino or host has no stake in the outcome. The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes spent $9.4 million to create their website, Grellner commented.

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