The Daily Oklahoman recently reported that federal agents and local Canadian County deputies raided at least four El Reno businesses as part of an ongoing investigation. During the raids gaming machines were taken from the VFW, Elks Lodge, Gilmore’s Pub, and the American Legion.
Having a slot machine at a local business may not seem like a big deal, but unfortunately gambling is not legal in the state of Oklahoma. This causes a good deal of confusion for anyone who has visited a casino in what they believe to be Oklahoma. Instead, federal law permits gambling on “Indian land”, which is defined as:
“(A) all lands within the limits of any Indian reservation; and
(B) any lands title to which is either held in trust by the United States for the benefit of any Indian tribe or individual or held by any Indian tribe or individual subject to restriction by the United States against alienation and over which an Indian tribe exercises governmental power.”
So while Winstar, Riverwind, or even Lucky Star Casinos are all legal under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, none of the bars raided in El Reno qualified. If you own or operate a business establishment inside the state of Oklahoma, it is important you understand the types of gaming that are permissible as opposed to those that are illegal gambling. Give Sansone Howell a call at (405) 455-1032 if you have any questions.