Oklahoma Getting Ready to Legalize Casino-Based Sports Betting

Oklahoma sports fans may soon start enjoying in-person sports betting experiences through existing tribes. Ken Luttrell is a Republican in Ponca City who recently filed House Bill 3008 in an attempt to pin Oklahoma on the map of the 30 states that have already embraced sports betting. 

Oklahoma Would Cash in $240 Million a Year 

Luttrell has expressed his excitement regarding the Bill, adding that many tribes have already joined him in his enthusiasm about the potential outcome of his initiative. The Republican also explained that the state would gain a clear advantage in the face of nearby states where in-person sports betting is already legal.

The people of Oklahoma would no longer be forced to go over state lines just to place wagers on their favorite sports events, thus giving part of their money to any other state government than their own in the form of taxes.

Chairman for the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Matthew Morgan also feels that the current tribes should handle all future activities, provided the Bill would pass.

The Indian Gaming Association is an important representative of the state tribes. The tribes have already initiated a series of consultative talks and educational workshops in anticipation of sports betting becoming legal later this year.

Just like the case of other forms of gaming, part of the winnings triggered by sports betting in Oklahoma would reach the state’s accounts. Luttrell has issued a yearly $200 million to $400 million estimate, but the exact details of the Bill are still up for further debate and negotiation.

Gaming Compacts Would Need to Be Transparent and Fair

Morgan added that sports betting should become legal in Oklahoma provided this is the people’s will, as well as something that would bring financial advantage to both the state and the tribes. These arguments alone should lobby for serious talks and plans for legalizing in-person betting on sports in existing tribal casinos. However, some disagreements between the tribes and state Governor Kevin Stitt regarding the role of gaming compacts have been made public.

Stitt has expressed his belief that as long the deal would be “fair”, “enforceable”, and transparent, he would accept any gaming compact. In 2019, Stitt wanted to negotiate new gaming fees for the gaming compacts belonging to the tribes. The tribes ended up winning the dispute and their compacts were renewed at the beginning of 2020.

While still illegal in the state, sports betting is pushing many residents to place their bets using offshore sports betting platforms. Illegal betting on sport also is also a frequent occurrence all across Oklahoma, so the new Bill could bring a much-needed regulatory framework for the industry.

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