AG Hunter Sends Letter To Sec. Of The Interior To Disapprove Gaming Agreements

Tuesday, May 5th 2020, 12:18 pm

Attorney General Mike Hunter issued an official opinion concerning agreements made between Gov. Kevin Stitt and two Indian tribes.

In the opinion, Hunter said the governor lacks authority to enter into and bind the state to compacts with Indian tribes that authorize gaming activity prohibited by state law.

Hunter was asked to give an official opinion by Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall after the governor announced compact agreements with the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and the Comanche Nation.

Hunter sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior David Berhardt and asked Berhardt to reject the agreements because they are not authorized by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and out of deference to determinations of state law made by the legal officials of the state.

“Because the Governor lacks authority to 'enter into' the agreements he has sent to you, those agreements fail to meet the requirements of IGRA to constitute a valid gaming compact under federal law,” Hunter wrote. “How a state enters into a gaming compact with a tribe, including whether the Governor may do so unilaterally in contravention of state statute, is a core concern of the state’s constitutional structure and is therefore a matter of state law.”

Click here to read the attorney general's opinion.

Click here to read Hunter's letter to the Secretary of Interior.