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Racetracks, Casinos Preparing for New Gaming Options

9 November 2004

Las Vegas Sun

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Officials at Oklahoma horse racing tracks, Indian tribal casinos and state agencies are making preparations to implement electronic gaming that was approved by voters.

New electronic games are expected in the tribal casinos by spring and by summer at Remington Park racetrack.

Until then, racetracks will make renovations, tribes that own casinos will await federal approval and the state will create a new regulatory agency.

State Finance Director Scott Meacham said he expects to hire about seven new workers to oversee tribal compacts for new casino games which voters endorsed Tuesday.

At least five larger gaming tribes are expected to compact immediately, but Meacham predicts the number could be much higher.

The U.S. Interior Department must approve or reject those compacts within 90 days. Meacham said Interior Department officials have reviewed the model compact.

Nearly 60 percent of Oklahoma voters in the general election approved a measure that allows compacting tribes to offer faster electronic machine games, including video poker, plus card games in which players compete against each other.

The measure also allows three racetracks to offer a limited number of the same electronic games, but not card games.

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