Oklahoma State-Tribal Gaming, State Question 712 (2004)

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The Oklahoma State-Tribal Gaming Act, also known as State Question 712, was on the November 2, 2004 ballot in Oklahoma as a legislatively-referred state statute, where it was approved. The measure enacted a Model Tribal Gaming Compact which allowed tribes to use new gaming machines and card games.[1]

Aftermath

Remington Park, a horse racing park that cost $94 million to build in 1988, felt the effects of the measure in 2004 when the track was bought by Magna Entertainment for $10 million when the measure was passed. Then, a subsidiary of Chickasaw Nation won approval in November 2009 for a 2010 racing and gaming license. The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission voted 8-0 on the matter. The subsidiary then bought the park from the bankrupt Magna Entertainment. According to John Elliot, CEO of Global Gaming Solutions LLC, the subsidiary who bought the park: “The track is an institution in Oklahoma. The horse industry is part of the fabric of this state.”[2]

Election results

Oklahoma State Question 712 (2004)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 849,882 59.47%
No579,31140.53%

Election results via: Oklahoma Secretary of State

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot title appeared as:[3]

This measure enacts the State-Tribal Gaming Act. The Act contains a Model Tribal Gaming Compact.

Indian tribes that agree to the Compact can use new types of gaming machines. These machines are used for gambling. Compacting tribes could also offer some card games.

If at least four Indian tribes enter into the Compact, three State licensed racetracks could use the same electronic gaming machines.

The Act limits the number of gaming machines racetracks can use. The Act does not limit the number of machines that Indian tribes can use.

The State Horse Racing Commission would regulate machine gaming at racetracks. A tribal agency would regulate authorized gaming by a tribe. The Office of State Finance would monitor authorized tribal gambling.

Proceeds from authorized gaming at racetracks go to:

1. the racetrack,
2. the owners of winning horses,
3. horsemen’s organizations,
4. breed organizations, and
5. the State to be used for educational purposes.

Some of the proceeds from authorized gaming by Indian tribes goes to the State. The State would use these proceeds for educational purposes and compulsive gambling programs. [4]

Full text

The full text of the measure can be read here.

Opposition

"The truth is state questions 705, 706 and 712 will enrich gambling companies, line the pockets of out-of-state gaming machine manufacturers, and put Oklahoma education at risk as people refuse to support bond issues and good ideas for stable, future revenue streams for education; after all, they are being sold as 'the savior' of education," Claunch said. "When government sponsors gambling it promotes the idea that people losing billions of dollars enriches the state. It's as simple as that. It's not about helping children or saving jobs in the horse industry. It's about money and greed."[5]

See also

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