Oklahoma Indian tribes only pay fees to the state for the operation of Class III games — Las Vegas-style electronic games — and nonhouse-banked table games, like poker.
Tribes don't have to pay the state to operate Class I games, which include social games for nominal prizes. Nor do they have to pay to operate Class II games, which include bingo and similar games.
Some of the Class II games are played on electronic devices and are similar, in some respects, to Class III electronic games.
The number of table games in Oklahoma Indian casinos dropped from 813 in 2010 to 753 in 2011, a decrease of 7.4 percent.
The report noted that Oklahoma tribes steadily increased their percentages of Class III games from 2005 through 2008, while the National Indian Gaming Commission introduced stricter limitations on Class II games that would have made them less similar to Las Vegas-style games.
The percentage of Class III games rose from 10 percent in 2005 to 66 percent in 2008.
However, the Commission withdrew the stricter limitations of Class II games in 2008, and the percentage of Class III games has steadily declined since then, dropping to 60 percent in 2011.
Tribes did pay more to the state in 2012, however. Compact fees to the state rose to nearly $127.8 million that year, an increase of 5 percent. A state gaming oversight official attributed the increase to new casinos opening with more total games, rather than a shift to a higher percentage of Class III games.
Casinos support jobs
At the end of 2011, Oklahoma had 115 Indian gaming facilities that were being operated by 33 tribes. Those facilities housed 63,536 gaming machines and 753 table games.
Nationally, 242 American Indian tribes operated more than 341,000 gaming machines and 7,700 table games. The games were in 460 facilities located in 28 states in 2011, the report states.
Indian casinos supported about 339,000 jobs and $12.3 billion in wages, and were responsible for about $1.4 billion in payments to nontribal governments.
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More about the report
More information about the report is available at www.casinocitypress.com.