The Attorney General of Oklahoma has agreed to pay the Michigan legal firm upto $250k to assist the state in negotiations with Native American tribes based in Oklahoma over compact gamblers.
The office of Republican Mike Hunter signed the contract with Dykema Gossett, the domestic law firm, last week. A Hunter spokesperson said Friday that due to their experience in tribal negotiations, external lawyers were needed.
“When dealing with issues as complex as compact negotiations, it is important to have experts with experience in this area,” said Hunter spokesman Alex Gerszewski. “Dykema has a proven record of success in tribal compact and gaming negotiations. We believe with their help, we can achieve a successful outcome for both the state and our tribal partners.”
The talks between the state and the tribes which began this summer got off with a bumpy start after the current republican governor Kevin Stitt said that he wished to renegotiate the agreements and that a bigger share of gambling income should come from the state.
Tribal officials proposed that certain conditions should be renegotiated, but the two parties do not agree whether current compacts will automatically be renegotiated on 1 January.
The current Oklahoma gambling pacts demand that the tribes pay the state 4 percent to 10 percent of the net sales of the casino in ‘ exclusivity fees.’ These fees brought about almost $139 million of state payments last year for approximately € 2.3 billion of sells in compact games. Under the compacts, non-tribal trade operators in Oklahoma are not permitted to play, even though a certain amount of digital gambling machines are authorised on horse races.
The state’s agreement with Dykema was first revealed by the Oklahoman newspaper.