Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Slot Machine Payouts in Oklahoma: No Minimum, No Public Reports

Definitive HDR / Flickr

Riverwind Casino in Norman, Okla.

Most states with casino gambling either mandate minimum slot machine returns or require the release of public information on payouts.

That’s not the case in Oklahoma and at least eight other states.

Oklahoma is among nine states without minimum payouts or any requirement that public reports be issued on casino payouts, reports the Tulsa World’s Wayne Greene.

Creek and Osage tribal officials did not respond to requests for payout data. A spokeswoman for the Cherokee Nation said the data was proprietary and wouldn’t be released.

Oklahoma’s casinos are all run by tribes, with rules established by gaming compacts. Casino revenues in Oklahoma could be leveling off, we reported earlier this month.

Requiring payout statistics was never considered in Oklahoma, former state Treasurer Scott Meacham, who negotiated Oklahoma’s compacts as an aide to former Gov. Brad Henry, told the Tulsa paper.

“Quite frankly, we felt, with as many tribal casinos as we had in Oklahoma, the market would force them into competitive payouts on their machines,” Meacham said.

Steve Bourie, author of the American Casino Guide, told the paper that competition does more to drive better casino payouts than state regulations.

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  • Marcus

    I think you will find ALL Indian casinos in Tulsa and areas around Tulsa the payout is much less than anywhere in the nation!

    • john

      I think you are right!I think Oklahoma Casinos are putting the shaft to the public

      • T

        Oklahoma Indian Casinos are ripe with corruption they send in there accomplices at prearranged times to hit big jackpots so they can backdoor the money so if percentages were available they would be wrong.
        Stay away from Newcastke Casino the GMs brother in law cleans the machines out on a regular basis and if you try to play near him they shut off all chance of winning until you leave
        That’s right they can and do control the machines even during play

  • john

    We need to stop spending our money there and make them operate legally

  • SD

    The feds need to start regulating this indian casinos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Letting the casinos be ruled by healthy competition is not working.

    • William Harjo

      the feds cant regulate indian casinos thats why there is no statistical history available they are governed by each indian nations laws federal law makes very little if any diffrence when the US GOV veiws the five civilized tribes as a nation itself

  • GC

    Vote with your wallet and stop going to the casinos. Most of them operate without risk since they only run slot machines and can control the payout. They didn’t build them to give away money.

  • mike

    This is very true don’t go to the Texas Kickapoo casino the payout rate is horrible at 70 percent payback as opposed to the oklahomas 90 percent payback

  • DJ

    When the casinos were voted NO. By the citizens of Oklahoma, what gives the Indians rights to operate a so called casino with no verification of payouts and or percentages of a possible win. When it was voted NO by Oklahoma, What laws do we as American U.S. citizens Indians have to follow do we get to say one doesn’t apply to me today or what. Any. Answers or response greatly appreciated

    • William Harjo

      i have an answer indian casinos are governed by each tribes individual goverment thats why cherokee creek and so forth are refered to as creek nation or cherokee nation they are looked at by the US GOV as individual nations with their own individual laws they even have their own police department and marshals US GOV police cant even affect an arrest without being cross trained or escorted withou violating treaties thats why they are able to opperate casinos the only stipulation is it must be on indian tribal lands or annexed land by the indian gov

  • William Harjo

    Frequently Asked Questions

    ���Under what authority are tribes permitted to conduct gaming in states?

    In 1987, the Supreme Court in California v Cabazon Band of Mission Indians confirmed the authority of tribal governments to establish gaming operations independent of state regulation.� The following year, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), which provided a regulatory framework for Indian gaming.� The IGRA offered states a voice in determining the scope and extent of tribal gaming by requiring Tribal-State compacts for Class III gaming.� Tribal regulatory authority over Class II gaming was left to the tribes.� The IGRA further provided for general regulatory oversight at the federal level and created the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC.)

    Where can Indian gaming be conducted?

    Under the federal law gambling can be conducted on “Indian land.” Federal law defines “Indian land” as land that is either:

    part of a federally recognized Indian reservation, or

    off a reservation but held in trust for an Indian tribe by the federal government, or under the jurisdiction of an Indian governing body.

    As this definition points out, it is not necessary for land to be actually part of a reservation for gambling to be conducted on it. In theory, an Indian tribe could buy land anywhere in a state and operate a casino on it, by having it declared Indian trust land by an Act of Congress, a court decision or settlement or through an application through the U.S. Department of the Interior.

    Who regulates Indian Gaming?

    Indian tribes are the primary regulators of Class II gaming.� Regulation of Class III gaming may be addressed in Tribal-State compacts and varies by state with tribes remaining the primary regulator in most states.� In Oklahoma, the tribes are the primary regulators of both Class II and Class III gaming.� Both Class II and Class III gaming are subject to the provisions of the IGRA and oversight by the NIGC.

    What types of gambling on Indian land does federal law regulate?

    Federal law regulates two distinct types of gambling on Indian land. Under IGRA there are two major kinds of gambling, each with its own regulatory mechanism. (IGRA also recognizes a third form of Indian gaming, class I (meaning traditional tribal ceremonial games) but exempts it from both federal and state jurisdiction.)

    Class II gambling is governed by a tribal ordinance that must meet federal guidelines and be approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission. �IGRA defines Class II gaming as bingo; when played in the same location as bingo – pull tabs, lotto, punch boards, tip jars, instant bingo, other games similar to bingo; and non-house banked card games authorized or not explicitly prohibited by the state in which the tribal operation is located.

    Class III gambling is conducted under a compact that each tribe negotiates with the government of the state in which it is located. �The compacts can apply those state laws to class III gambling that each party believes necessary for regulation. ��Class III gaming authorized by the Oklahoma State-Tribal gaming compacts, consists of electronic amusement games, electronic bonanza style bingo games, electronic instant bingo, and non-house banked card games.

    What is a Tribal-State Compact?

    Tribal-State compacts are agreements that establish the rules to govern the conduct of Class III gaming activities.� Although a compact is negotiated between a tribe and a state, the Secretary of Interior must also approve the compact.

    How long are Oklahoma gaming compacts in effect?

    Oklahoma gaming compacts are in effect until their expiration date of January 1, 2020.� The compacts may also be terminated by mutual consent of the Tribe and the State of Oklahoma.

    What happens to profits from Indian gaming operations?

    The IGRA requires net revenues from any tribal gaming operation are to be used for the following purposes:

    fund tribal government operations

    provide for the general welfare of the Indian tribe and its members

    promote tribal economic development

    donate to charitable organizations

    help fund operations of local government agencies

    If the tribe is able to adequately provide for these services and wishes to distribute net revenue in the form of a per capita payment to members of the tribe, the tribe must have a Revenue Allocation Plan (RAP), which is approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

    How does a gaming vendor get licensed in the state of Oklahoma?

    Oklahoma does not have a central licensing process for gaming vendors.� Under the Tribal-State Compacts, vendor licensing is done by the individual Tribes/Nations.� Prospective vendors should contact the Tribes for their specific requirements.

  • Mr pissed

    I’m sick and damned tired of these greedy bastards. They are not regulated like they should be and there is no competition between them. None of them give a shit if they take every dime you have. They will just move on to the next sucker when your broke.

  • Dana Chitwood

    I was told by a former employee that last year RiverWind did not meet the pay out percentage but still after paying the penalty saved around $3million .That shows me how sorry they really are.That’s chump change to them but yet they would rather pay a penalty than the customers that spend their money in this place t.hinking that they have a chance of walking out a winner

  • Mark Starr

    Riverwind casino has become a bunch of thieves. Thank you Oklahoma politicians, for selling out the people of Oklahoma “again”. You better fix this. They are robbing more every day !

  • Mark Starr

    Riverwind is absolutely stealing from the people of Oklahoma. Thank you politicians. You sold us out again.

  • Harold Cisneros

    Remington is by far the absolute WORST of them all! Stay away from these ripoffs! I’ve seen much much better odds with games run by the mafia! The Indians figured out how to get back at the white man! Open a casino and take his money!

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