Courtesy Cherokee Nation Entertainment
Last year, the Cherokee Nation broke ground on the new $80 million Cherokee Casino Roland in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Approaches $1 Billion in Exclusivity Fee Collection


Oklahoma has collected nearly $1 billion from the tribal gaming industry, according to a new report by the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association on tribes' economic impact on the state.

The state initially projected $71 million per year in revenue from the compact, far less than the actual results. Since Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved State Question 712 in 2004, the growth of tribal gaming in Oklahoma has positively impacted Oklahoma’s economy beyond original expectations.

The State-Tribal Gaming Act was a constitutional amendment that allowed Oklahoma to level the economic playing field with other states and opened the door to a new market for tourism and hospitality. The amendment allowed the state to negotiate with Oklahoma tribes and horse racing tracks to operate Las Vegas-style casino games. The addition of electronic gaming at race tracks was a way for Oklahoma horse tracks to compete with tracks in neighboring states.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker released the following statement on the Association's economic announcement: 

“The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association reports tribes have paid nearly $1 billion in fees to the state since the passage of the Tribal-State Gaming Act in 2004, far more than was predicted. This shows tribal governments have and will continue to make our state stronger and better for all Oklahomans.

“For the Cherokee Nation and other tribes in Oklahoma, gaming represents economic opportunities that improve the lives of our tribal citizens. But secondary economic impacts from gaming revenues are equally important. The direct revenue we pay to the state of Oklahoma is significant, but the Cherokee Nation and other tribes also support thousands and thousands of jobs. That impact on Oklahoma families is immeasurable.

“Money generated by our casinos also creates additional educational opportunities for our children, improves roads and infrastructure in our neighborhoods, provides greater access to quality health care, and creates home ownership opportunities for our citizens. Our impact on the lives of Oklahomans is very real.

“Since the passage of State Question 712, 10 years ago, the tangible results have far surpassed initial expectations, and we are eager to continue our work making Oklahoma better for all.”

Mark Fulton, chief operating officer of Cherokee Nation Entertainment, statement on OIGA's economic announcement:
“When Oklahomans approved tribal gaming, it led the way for a new entertainment and tourism market in Oklahoma. Tribes have since transformed the gaming industry into an entertainment and hospitality experience. These entertainment destinations are driving tourism throughout the state and are proven assets when working to grow the local economy.

“Gaming has also allowed tribes to pursue other economic development activities, diversify into other areas of business and make investments in their communities. These activities fuel job creation and more spending in state and local economies.

“The Cherokee Nation has a $1.55 billion impact on the state’s economy and is a significant part of the overall tribal gaming economic impact on Oklahoma. This success wouldn’t be possible without tribes, state educators, horsemen and the state working together.”

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page