Oklahoma receives record tribal gaming fees

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Oklahoma collected more than $132m (E120m) in tribal gaming exclusivity fees in 2016, according to a new study published by the state’s Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES).


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he record amount is not only good news for Oklahoma education funding, but also continues an upward trend since the first decline two years ago.

Published in October, the Oklahoma Gaming Compliance Unit Annual Report indicates that Native American tribes paid their 2016 exclusivity fees based on nearly $2.2bn (E2bn) in revenue generated from Class III electronic games and non house-banked card games.

Compared to the previous year, the three per cent uptick in 2016 mirrored an increase in fees derived from electronic Class III games, about $113bn (102bn). Tribes to not pay exclusivity fees on revenue generates from Class II gaming.

According to OMES, which published the report, the collections in 2016 are the second year in a row exclusivity fee payments have increased, after the fees paid to the state by Native American tribes for exclusive gaming rights declined compared to the previous year for the first time since the implementation of the compact in 2005.

“A variety of factors has causedcollections to increase by nearly $9.4m (E8.5m) since fiscal 2014, including 2015 being the first full yearduring which new staff at the Office of Management and Enterprise Services Gaming Compliance Unit wasin place and operating under improved policies and procedures,” the group stated.

The revenues are distributed to Oklahoma’s Education Reform Revolving Fund, the General Revenue Fund and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

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