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McCaleb rejects Choctaw casino compact

Last Updated: 5:25 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Assistant Secretary Neal McCaleb has rejected a proposed gaming compact between the Jena Band of Choctaws and the state of Louisiana.

The decision came in a letter addressed today to Chief Cheryl Smith and copied to Louisiana Governor Mike Foster. McCaleb states that compact provisions requiring the tribe to share 15.5 percent of net revenues with the state constitute a "tax."

As such, he said the revenue agreement is prohibited under federal gaming law. "We regret that our decision could not be more favorable at this time," McCaleb concludes.

Gov. Mike Foster's office said it was formulating a response to the decision. The tribe did not immediately return a request for comment.

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