The Osage Nation Gaming Enterprise Board responded to multiple requests for information on Osage Casinos Aug. 19.
What little the GEB could divulge included the organizational chart for the casinos, statistics on the ethnicity of Osage Casino employees, a listing of all the general managers for each of the seven casinos, and a list of laws that exempts them from giving out a majority of information asked for.
The GEB declined the following:
· Complete audit reports, with management letters from the agency conducting the report back to 2008
· A list of donation items dating back to 2008 and how much they were for
· A list of contractors the Osage Casinos is currently working with and the contracts
· An open records request form and procedure for making requests
· A list of winning jackpots totaling more than $1,000 from 2008-present and data on what games they were played on, the casino where they were won, the years they were won, who won, the person’s race and any other applicable information
· A list of any scholarships or grants the casinos award and who they were to
· A list of laws that exempts them from answering information
The GEB said, “Several laws specifically apply to the gaming enterprise or specifically exempt it. The gaming enterprise is subject to the Gaming Statute, ONCA 07-09 as amended and approved by the NIGC (National Indian Gaming Commission), and the ONCA 07-30 as amended. Information contained in the Annual Plan for the items listed in ONCA 07-30 are deemed confidential and proprietary and cannot be disclosed. ONCA 07-30, section 5(C)(2).
“Information limited to discussion in executive session is confidential and proprietary and cannot be disclosed. ONCA 07-30, section 5(E)(6).
“Information contained in records of the gaming enterprise are deemed confidential and proprietary records of a tribal enterprise or business entity, in order to protect competitive advantage, and are not subject to disclosure under the Open Records Act. ONCA 10-05, section 2(D),” said the GEB in an email.
General managers for all seven casinos are:
Sand Springs - Byron Bighorse
Tulsa – (Interim) Stephanie Blossom
Skiatook - Edward Gray
Hominy – John Shaw
Pawhuska - Eli Red Eagle
Bartlesville - Ressa Files
Ponca City - Jennifer Swords
The GEB said the casinos do not give out scholarships or grants. And specifically, ONCA 09-74, which became law in 2009, requires them to report to the Osage News any donations more than $5,000, but since the GEB doesn’t have a budget for donations, no donations have been made after 2009, the GEB said.
“The financial reports and management letters are confidential and proprietary information. They cannot be disclosed, in order to protect competitive advantage. The Gaming Commission has confirmed that these cannot be disclosed to the public. Although audits are defined as open records in the Open Records Act, the ONGE is exempted from the ORA as a tribal enterprise or business entity,” said the GEB.