OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The gaming industry in Oklahoma has broken its previous record, paying $167 million in exclusivity fees to the State of Oklahoma in the last fiscal year (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), an indicator that the industry has bounced back from the previous fiscal year. During FY 2019-20, the COVID-19 pandemic began, and every casino in Oklahoma had temporarily closed by March 23, 2020. Revenues hit an all-time low in April 2020 and have been rebounding since. Prior to that, the record stood at $148 million.
“We are pleased that the tribal gaming industry in Oklahoma is recovering well from the economic challenges brought by the pandemic,” said Matthew L. Morgan, Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Chairman. “Our leadership came together to take care of employees and partners during our shutdown, keeping them whole while simultaneously crafting a safe way forward. Quickly, as the scope and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic became clear, tribes mobilized and immediately began implementing safety precautions for staff and patrons, allowing them to reopen as quickly as it was safely possible to do so. Today, guests can safely enjoy a wide array of entertainment options including gaming, concerts, dining, spa services and much more at Oklahoma’s tribal gaming facilities.”
Per the terms of the State-Tribal Gaming Compacts, which renew every 15 years, compacted tribes pay a monthly exclusivity fee to the State of Oklahoma for the exclusive right to operate compacted gaming. The fees received to-date, shown in the table below, are calculated as follows:
Electronic Covered Games:
4% of the 1st $10,000,000 of annual adjusted gross revenues (AGR)
5% of the next $10,000,000 of AGR
6% of AGR over $20,000,000
10% of the monthly net win
The State of Oklahoma distributes those exclusivity fees to the Education Reform Revolving Fund (1017 Fund), the General Revenue Fund and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Per the terms of the State-Tribal Gaming Compacts, compacted tribes pay a monthly exclusivity fee to the State of Oklahoma for the exclusive right to operate compacted gaming. Oklahoma Tribal Governments have paid the State of Oklahoma a total of more than $1.7 billion in exclusivity fees since 2006.
The Gaming Compliance Unit of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services receives a set annual fee of $250,000.
Revenues from Tribal Governmental gaming must be used in five specific areas as stipulated by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2710 [Sec. 11]. Net revenues from any tribal gaming are not to be used for purposes other than:
- To fund Tribal Government operations or program
- To provide for the general welfare of the Indian tribe and its member
- To promote Tribal economic development
- To donate to charitable organizations
- To help fund operations of local government agencies