Five more tribes have asked to join a federal lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma over their gaming compacts, bringing the total number of tribes suing the state to 11.
The Anadarko-based Delaware Nation, the Lawton-based Comanche Nation, the Wewoka-based Seminole Nation, the Red Rock-based Otoe-Missouria Tribe and the Ponca City-based Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma filed respective motions Thursday and Friday to join the lawsuit, which challenges Gov. Kevin Stitt’s stance on tribal gaming compacts.
Three other Oklahoma tribes, the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations, were the original plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed Dec. 31.
The Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Quapaw Nation have joined the case. The state of Oklahoma has indicated that it would not object to any tribe with a gaming pact joining the lawsuit.
All the tribes have asked a judge to declare that their gaming compacts with the state of Oklahoma automatically renewed Jan. 1.
Stitt maintains that the compacts expired Jan. 1 and that Class III gaming is now illegal in Oklahoma, since the tribes don’t have active compacts. He is seeking higher fees from the tribes in renegotiated pacts.
A federal judge on Monday ordered Stitt and the tribes to enter mediation.