A case brought by Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall will seek clarification on the powers of Governor Kevin Stitt to authorise tribal compact games as reported in the Legal Sports Report.
The lawsuit, which is expected to begin next week, was brought after Gov. Stitt approved a number of games in two new tribal compacts which were deemed illegal under Oklahoma law. The most prominent was sports betting, in the Compacts called event wagering.
Although sports betting in the Sooner State is not expected to be legalised any time soon, many were shocked by the decision by Stitt to allow sports betting in two renegotiated compacts with the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe in April.
The decision faced considerable criticism from within the state, with immediate disapproval of the actions by Attorney General Mike Hunter.
Hunter had called for the rejection of the compacts “out of deference to determinations of state made the legal officials of the state
Yet the court refused earlier this month to comment on whether Stitt has the power to connect the state with specific compact provisions: “Any question that has arisen regarding the extent of Governor Stitt’s authority with respect to tribal gaming or gaming compacts, the powers granted to him by state law, or the balance of powers within the State’s internal government structure is not a matter for decision in this case.
“Further, in the Court’s view, it would be inappropriate for a federal court to interfere with the resolution of such a sensitive state-law matter, which impacts important concerns of sovereignty and comity that underlie many federal abstention doctrines.”