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Gaming Enterprise Board issues inaugural newsletter

TULSA, Okla. – The Osage Nation Gaming Enterprise Board released its first monthly newsletter this month as an effort to communicate more information with the Osage public.

The inaugural newsletter will be released online in PDF format and can be viewed on the gaming board’s website at www.osagenation-nsn.gov/who-we-are/gaming-enterprise-board

“The Osage Nation Gaming Enterprise Board of Directors wishes to provide transparency in all aspects of the gaming enterprise,” the publication states. “We offer this newsletter as our way of bringing you factual, up to date, developments and the status of expansion projects ongoing and those in the planning stage.

Construction work is ongoing to build a new expanded Tulsa Osage Casino with a hotel and is slated for completion in mid-2018. In the 2015 Gaming Enterprise Board annual report, Chairman Mark Simms said plans are also being made for Pawhuska and Bartlesville casino projects. In February 2016, the Fourth ON Congress passed a resolution (ONCR 16-10) for two land-into-trust applications for gaming purposes on the east side of Pawhuska and west of Bartlesville in Osage County for the forthcoming projects. Those applications are still pending.

The inaugural gaming board newsletter shares professional biographies of the all-Osage gaming board. Those board members include Simms, Traci Phillips (vice chairwoman), Susan Kneeland (secretary/ treasurer), Mark Revard and John “Trey” Goldesberry III. Their full bios are also on the gaming board’s website.

Each gaming board member serves a three-year term and those terms “are staggered so there is consistency year over year and administration to administration, The primary directive of the ONGEB is to provide oversight for the Gaming Enterprise and ensure that all operations are profitably run and in compliance with all applicable laws,” the newsletter states.

At the Feb. 15 board meeting, the gaming board reviewed the newsletter and it was posted to the website in early March. Also at the meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve the estimated gaming distribution to the Osage Nation government for the 2018 fiscal year.

Congressman Ron Shaw said the Nation’s government will receive $40 million in FY2018 from the Gaming Enterprise, which is the same amount distributed this year, during a March 9 Congressional Appropriations Committee meeting. Gaming revenue comprises most of the tribal government’s funding to support departments and services. The Nation is also a recipient of federal grants, but that funding is restricted for uses agreed to between the Nation and the funding agencies.

Shaw said the Congress was awaiting other projected income estimates from other sources including the Nation’s Tax Commission, which collects fees from vehicle license tags, business license fees and taxes.

The Congress will consider and set the FY 2018 projected revenue figure when the Legislative Branch convenes for the 2017 Hun-Kah Session starting Monday March 27. The projected revenue figure is crucial for government budgeting because the 2006 Osage Constitution states “the annual budget shall not exceed projected revenues.”     

Osages wishing to receive an email copy of the gaming board’s newsletter, or to provide comments and suggestions, contact the gaming board’s office at (918) 287-5558 or email Gaming Board Executive Assistant Mariellen “Mo” Fisher at mfisher@osagenation-nsn.gov


By

Benny Polacca


Original Publish Date: 2017-03-24 00:00:00

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Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.
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