Today the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes called on the Obama Administration to allow a first of its kind pact with the state of Oklahoma permitting the tribes to operate international gaming sites from their native lands. The plan would generate millions for smaller tribes and for the state government.
The pact, signed in April between Cheyenne and Arapaho Gov. Janice Prairie-Chief Boswell and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, would allow the tribes to run and market real money gaming sites to people outside the U.S. In exchange, the state would get 20 percent of the revenue generated from the gaming sites.
“This is an innovative plan that benefits everyone involved. It’s the definition of the win-win,” said Boswell. “There is no reason for the federal government to intervene in what should be a matter between the tribe and the state. We hope that the Obama Administration allows this process to proceed, which will show that all tribes can get a fair chance in Washington.”
The tribe had been operating a free online social gaming site, PokerTribes.com, but took it down in the spring and started discussions with the state on the new agreement. Officials believe that this operation could set a precedent for the future and continue generating sorely needed funding for state governments.
“The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association looks forward to assisting our member tribes as they are joining a rapidly changing and developing international gaming industry. Worldwide projections show the annual marketplace to be at 30 billion dollars. This is the next step in generating much needed revenue for Oklahoma Tribes and the State of Oklahoma,” said Brian Foster, CEO of PokerTribes.com and Chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, told CapitalBeatOk in April.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho have also been running advertisements in local papers and radio stations this calling for the approval of the pact. The advertisements urge lawmakers to ignore the influence of tribes with deeper pockets and more political clout that have been using their lobbyists to hurt smaller tribes.
“Indian gaming was supposed to provide the promise of meaningful economic develop through all of Indian Country,” the ad reads. “Let’s stop the hypocrisy.”