OKLAHOMA CITY – The office of Governor Kevin Stitt announced Friday that the State of Oklahoma engaged Perkins Coie law firm in December to advise in its efforts to negotiate a revised gaming compact with Oklahoma gaming tribes.
“With Perkins Coie, the State of Oklahoma is well positioned to work towards a compact that protects core public services and advances the future of our great state, its four million residents, and gaming tribes,” Stitt said. “Perkins Coie will also respond to and address the Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Choctaw Nations’ federal lawsuit filed on New Year’s Eve. The legal experts at Perkins Coie have successfully represented other states in Indian law controversies, to include the State of New Mexico’s compact dispute in 2015.”
Although the Governor remains focused on negotiating stronger compacts, the Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Choctaw Nations sued the State through the Governor on New Year’s Eve, alleging that his statements that the Model Gaming Compact would expire on January 1, 2020 violated federal law and that the compact automatically renews. Perkins Coie will assist in defending against that suit, in addition to providing counsel regarding compact negotiations.
The firm has extensive litigation experience, including successfully challenging federal regulations invoked by a gaming tribe to circumvent IGRA’s compact requirement on behalf of the State of New Mexico in 2015. While that litigation was pending, Perkins Coie assisted the State in negotiating a new gaming compact with five other tribes whose compacts were also set to expire that year. Since that time, a dozen other New Mexico tribes opted into the new gaming compact.