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Citizen Potawatomi Nation request meeting to discuss state-tribal gaming compact

CPN enterprises with on-site gaming like the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort require a clarification of the state's stance on the gaming compact.

Citizen Potawatomi Nation officials have requested a meeting with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Attorney General Scott Pruitt to clarify the interpretation of the State-Tribal Gaming Compact and request increased transparency of revenue generated by tribal gaming.

CPN has requested an interpretation of part 11, section D of the compact relating to exclusivity fees and part 5, section 1, which deals with the sale of alcoholic beverages by the Nation in its tribal gaming enterprises.

Citizen Potawatomi Nation believes that the State of Oklahoma, acting through the Oklahoma Tax Commission, has violated the terms of the compact. The Tribe believes the state agency has  acted in excess of its authority by assessing a tax instead of the comprehensive fee schedule designated in the compact.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission administrative proceedings began when its compliance division filed a complaint in its Administrative Proceedings Division on May 28, 2014. That complaint sought to revoke permits for sales tax, low point beer and mixed beverages from all CPN enterprises, including FireLake Entertainment Center, FireLake Corner Store, FireLake Discount Foods, FireLake Express Grocery and Grand Casino Hotel and Resort.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission justified the revocation request saying that all of the Nation’s enterprises are required to have a sales tax permit and to collect, report and remit sales tax in order to obtain licensing for the sale of alcoholic beverages at gaming locations. However, the gaming compact specifically prohibits the OTC from acting in a regulatory or oversight capacity with respect to any gaming or gaming-related activities. In 1991 the United States Supreme Court prohibited the OTC from forcing the tribe to act as its tax collector on sales of tobacco products.

Annual reports published by OMES list the types and amounts of revenue paid to the state by tribal entities but do not disclose where or how those funds are used. The state-tribal gaming compact mandates that 12 percent of those fees be deposited into the general fund and that 88 percent be deposited into the education reform revolving fund.

A demand for the accounting of fees received by the State of Oklahoma under the tribal-state gaming compact from Citizen Potawatomi Nation to Oklahoma State Treasurer Ken Miller was deferred to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

Per the compact, state officials have 30 days to meet with Citizen Potawatomi Nation officials to discuss these issues of non-compliance. Oklahoma passed the State-Tribal Gaming Act in November 2004 and the State of Oklahoma and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation entered into the tribal model gaming compact on November 23, 2004.