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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt overstepped his authority when he reached a casino gambling agreement with two Native American tribes, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. In a 7-1 decision, the high court determined the compacts Stitt signed with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribes are “invalid under Oklahoma law.”

The deals would have allowed the two tribes to offer wagering on sporting events and house-banked card and table games. The compacts also would have allowed the tribes to construct new casinos closer to larger population centers, and would have given the state a larger share of casino revenues from those new casinos. The U.S. Department of the Interior gave tacit approval to the compacts in June following the expiration of a 45-day review period.

But because wagering on sporting events and house-banked card and table games haven’t been authorized by the Legislature, any revenue from such games is prohibited, the court ruled.

“The court must, therefore, conclude Governor Stitt exceeded his authority in entering into the tribal gaming compacts with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribes that included Class III gaming prohibited by the State-Tribal Gaming Act," the court wrote.

Otoe-Missouria Tribe Chairman John R. Shotton said in a statement that the Oklahoma Supreme Court doesn't have the jurisdiction to invalidate the tribe's compact. “We have said all along we do not plan to offer house-banked card and table games and event wagering until they are authorized by state law," Shotton added. “Indeed, this condition was part of the compact, and it was unfortunately overlooked by the court."

Stitt said the court's decision, along with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined much of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation, leaves much work to be done with the tribes.

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