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Oklahoma Gaming Guidelines Expected by February

17 December 2004

Las Vegas Sun

OKLAHOMA -- Gaming at three Oklahoma race tracks could begin as early as next spring if federal gaming compacts are approved.

Gordon Hare, the executive director of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, said the group drafting rules for gaming at racetracks expects to be finished with their work by February.

Hare is part of the group that includes law enforcement, gaming representatives and horse track employees.

Once the emergency rules are approved by Gov. Brad Henry, all that stands between gaming at the three tracks -- Remington Park, Blue Ribbon Downs and Will Rogers Downs -- is the U.S. Interior Department's approval of nine tribal gaming agreements with the state.

The federal agency is the final authority on all types agreements between states and American Indian tribes.

The tribes have submitted the compacts to the federal agency, but so far none has been approved, according Shawn Ashley, a spokesman for the State Office of Finance, which has been negotiating with the tribes.

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