Oklahoma liquor regulators want to end Indian tribal immunity from lawsuits over the actions of someone who was served too much alcohol.
The ABLE Commission intends to require tribes to give up this immunity as a condition for renewing or obtaining a liquor license.
This legal liability already applies to alcohol sellers under Oklahoma law, but the state Supreme Court in September found a tribe couldn't be sued because it hadn't waived its sovereign immunity when applying for the license.
In discussing the change, the commission's attorney told commissioners Friday it probably won't be popular with state tribal casinos and likely will end up in court.
She was asked to research and report back at the next meeting whether the commission has the authority to amend the application or whether a rule change is needed first.
The seven-member commission voted unanimously to pursue the rule change.
ABLE Director Keith Burt expressed concern in October over the impact the state Supreme Court ruling, involving the Peoria Tribe and its Buffalo Run Casino, could have.
In that case, Jennifer and Charles Sheffer and their young son were injured when their tractor-trailer was hit by a rental car driven by David Billups.
The Sheffers sued the tribe and casino, asserting the casino overserved Billups, who died in the collision.
In a 5-to-4 decision, the court dismissed the claim.
Stuart Campbell, a Tulsa attorney representing the Peoria Tribe, couldn't be reached Monday for comment.
Some, but not all, tribes that operate casinos hold a liquor license.
According to ABLE Commission records, those with licenses include the Citizen Potawatomi Nation — which operates the Grand Casino in Shawnee — the Kickapoo and Tonkawa tribes, and the Osage Nation.
The Chickasaw Nation, which operates Riverwind Casino in Norman and WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, uses an outside vendor to provide alcohol, so it likely wouldn't be affected by a rule change, a spokeswoman for the tribe said.