Local tribes respond to Gov. Stitt's request to shut down Class III gaming

DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - In a statement made on Wednesday, Governor Kevin Stitt asked the Federal Court to shut down Oklahoma tribe's Class III gaming.

That includes roulette, craps and some slot machines.

Kenneth Gardner is a member of the Choctaw Nation, he says he believes the state should not ask for more money from the tribes.

"I believe Choctaw does a lot of good for the community and the state, they bring in a lot of income," said Gardner.

Four to 10% of what the tribes make in revenue goes to the state in exclusivity fees.

Tribes paid the state nearly $150 million in exclusivity fees last year.

Since 2004, the state has received over a billion dollars from the tribes.

Most of the money goes toward education.

In a statement, tribal attorney Stephen Greetham said: "Governor Stitt's pleading filed yesterday in Federal court added nothing to his public statements of the past several months. All the same, we are pleased he now acknowledges that the single and central question before the court concerns our compacts' "shall automatically renew" clause. With matters now queued up in court for resolution, we place our faith in the fact that words and law mean something at the end of the day,"

Governor Stitt said in December they do not want gaming to be illegal and do not want the tribes to be operating illegally.

Representatives from the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations were not available to comment for this story.