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  • Lani Hansen

Unique UKB Class III Gaming Compact takes effect

UKB officials met with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Wednesday, July 1 to sign a gaming compact that allows the tribe to conduct Class II and Class III gaming. (Pictured L-R: Secretary Ella Mae Worley, Cooweescoowee Rep. Jeannie Tidwell, Assistant Chief Jamie Thompson, Gov. Kevin Stitt, Secretary Joyce Hawk, Tahlequah Rep. Jeff Wacoche, Goingsnake Rep. Sharon Benoit, Saline Rep. Charles Smoke, UKB Attorney General Klint Cowan and Delaware Rep. Adalene Smith) PHOTO: BRITTNEY BENNETT/Giduwa Cherokee News


TAHLEQUAH - The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma are proud to announce that on September 8, 2020, the U.S. Government published notice in the Federal Register that the tribe’s Class III Gaming Compact with the State of Oklahoma has been deemed approved under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and is now effective.

This Compact will open a new chapter of Indian gaming for both the tribe and the State of Oklahoma.

For the State, the Compact marks a new era of possibilities with the Governor’s recognition that he is authorized to deviate, within certain bounds, from the Oklahoma Model Compact and negotiate individualized Compacts with Oklahoma tribes.

The compact authorizes certain Class III casino gaming, not to include sports betting, at a Keetoowah casino to be developed in Logan County, Oklahoma. Revenue sharing with the State at this future facility will range from 12–15 percent, depending on the level of adjusted net revenue from the casino’s gaming machines.

For the tribe, the compact will help reopen a gaming facility to generate much needed tribal revenue for governmental programs that will benefit approximately 14,000 Keetoowah members.

“As a former gaming regulator, I can appreciate the importance of a strong gaming code,” said Chief Joe Bunch. “This Class III Compact will take gaming and gaming regulation to a new level in Oklahoma.”

“We are very pleased with this federal approval,” said Jamie Thompson, Chairman of the UKB Corporate Board. “The UKB Corporate Board will now work with its developers to select a casino site in Logan County, as specified in the Compact.”

The tribe’s compact negotiators were handled by UKB Attorney General Klint Cowan and Jeffrey Nelson, Assistant Attorney General. Questions can be directed to Mr. Cowan at (405) 204-6487 or Mr. Nelson at (202) 963-0529.


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