July 26, 2023 3 min read


AG in Oklahoma Backs State in Unlawful Gaming Compacts Lawsuit

Attorney General Gentner Drummond criticized Gov. Kevin Stitt over the "unlawful" gambling compacts signed with tribes and confirmed his plans to represent the interests of the state in the legal dispute

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond announced Tuesday it plans to represent the interests of the state in a years-long legal battle over unlawful gaming compacts that resulted in losses of state resources. Back in 2020, Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office reached revised gaming compacts with four Native tribes, the Otoe-Missouria, the Kialegee Tribal Town, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, as well as the Comanche Nation. This prompted four other tribal nations, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Citizen Potawatomi, to file federal lawsuits, challenging the Governor’s authority for the signed gambling compacts.

The prime issue with the compacts orchestrated by Gov. Stitt was that he didn’t have the legislative authority to enact them. The legal battle continued with the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling twice that the aforementioned gambling compacts are invalid, despite the Governor submitting them to the federal government for approval.

State’s Relationship with Tribal Organizations Suffered Damage

Now, the state’s Attorney General, confirmed he joins the lawsuit to defend the interests of the state and informed the Governor of his decision via a personal phone call and an official letter. In his letter, Drummond said that Gov. Stitt can freely deal with the tribes but cannot violate the established laws currently in effect in Oklahoma. “I am taking this action in order to uphold the law and defend our constitution,” wrote the Attorney General.

Additionally, Drummond criticized the Governor for damaging the relations between the state and tribal organizations while at the same time not following the law. He claimed that the Governor didn’t enact gambling compacts that would bring benefits to Oklahomans but chose to engage in “costly legal battles.” Drummond pointed out: “Millions of dollars of state resources have been squandered on these futile efforts.”

Oklahoma’s relationship with our tribal partners has suffered greatly as a result of your divisive rhetoric and refusal to follow the law,

wrote Attorney General Gentner Drummond

According to the recent statement released by the Attorney General, there are nearly $600,000 in accumulated expenses for private law firms that are currently defending the unlawfully signed gambling compacts. He claimed that other legal battles have resulted in millions of losses under the tenure of Gov. Stitt. The Attorney General pointed out that he represents a “broad coalition of state leaders” that have an ultimate goal to repair the damage that has been done due to the unlawful gambling compacts with the tribal operators.

In light of the situation, earlier this week, Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat hinted that lawmakers may consider taking the authority related to the negotiation of tribal gambling compacts from the Governor. It is yet to be confirmed how can such change be enacted.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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