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Internet gaming not allowed in Oklahoma, governor says

Oklahoma and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes reach an agreement in which the tribe will take down its Internet gaming site. The tribe can't operate an Internet gaming site anywhere in the country, but it is free to run one from outside the United States.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: April 6, 2013
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The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes settled an ongoing dispute Friday with Oklahoma by agreeing to take down an Internet gaming site after being told its tribal gaming compact with the state did not allow it, the governor's office said.

The tribe, based in Concho, had been operating the Internet gaming site for the past several months. Tribal officials thought Internet gaming was allowed under the tribe's compact with the state; Oklahoma officials believed otherwise.

Gov. Mary Fallin's general counsel, Steve Mullins, said talks culminated with an agreement being reached Friday that the tribe's gaming compact with the state does not allow it to operate Internet gaming sites in Oklahoma or anywhere in the U.S.

“It was a misunderstanding,” he said. “They came to the table, and they worked with us until we could get it resolved. They've been good partners on that.”

The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, which operates the Lucky Star Casino at Concho and at Clinton, would be allowed to operate an Internet gaming site from outside the United States, but the tribe still would have to pay fees to Oklahoma, Mullins said.

Lisa Liebl, spokeswoman for the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, said the agreement effectively shuts down the tribe's free online social gaming network in exchange for an agreement that the tribe be allowed to operate the site internationally.

“The Tribes plan to bring this exciting new product to the international market in the very near future,” Liebl said in a statement.

The interpretation applies to the other tribes that have tribal gaming compacts with Oklahoma, he said.

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We want it to be very clear that Oklahoma is saying you may not Internet game in Oklahoma.”

Steve Mullins,
Gov. Mary Fallin's general counsel

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