OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Leaders with Oklahoma's powerful Native American tribes are voicing frustration with the state's Republican governor after they say he caught them off guard with plans to force renegotiations for a bigger piece of the billions of dollars tribal casinos generate each year.
A Cherokee Nation citizen himself, Gov. Kevin Stitt suggested in an editorial Monday in the Tulsa World the compacts between the state and the tribes should be reevaluated since the industry has matured.
Under the deal, tribes are given the exclusive right to operate more than 120 casinos across Oklahoma. They paid nearly $139 million to the state last year on roughly $2.3 billion in revenue from games covered under the agreements.
But tribal leaders said Wednesday those fees don't include millions of dollars tribes invest in health care, education and infrastructure that benefit all Oklahomans.
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