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Silvia Pavlof November 30, 2023 3 min read
Oklahoma Tribal Leaders Rally for Sports Betting Amid Economic Concerns
This plea comes against the backdrop of plummeting oil prices and the looming threat of competition from neighboring Texas
Tribal gaming leaders in Oklahoma, alongside their national counterparts, have called upon Gov. Kevin Stitt to support tribal-led sports betting initiatives.
Tribal Chiefs Express Concerns Over Las Vegas Sands’ Dallas Mavericks Deal
The call for action was made during a recent webcast titled “The New Normal,” hosted by Victor Rocha, conference chairman of the Indian Gaming Association, and Jason Giles, executive director of the Indian Gaming Association.
Matthew Morgan, chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, was interviewed during the webcast, where concerns were raised regarding the recent acquisition of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team by Miriam Adelson, widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and the subsequent move by the Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Adelson’s family, known for controlling the Las Vegas Sands Corp., has committed to purchasing the majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks for a reported $3.5 billion. This move has sparked apprehension within tribal circles as the Adelsons have been actively lobbying to legalize gambling in Texas. Mark Cuban, the current owner of the Mavericks, envisions a new arena with an integrated casino in an entertainment district.
According to the terms of the deal with Adelson, Mark Cuban, who took ownership of the Mavericks in 2000, will retain a stake in ownership and continue to oversee basketball operations.
Oklahoma Tribal Chiefs Skeptical of Stitt’s Sports Betting Tax Rates
Gov. Stitt, a member of the Cherokee Nation, recently proposed a sports betting plan for Oklahoma. However, tribal leaders assert that the proposal, which includes a 15% tax rate on retail sports betting at tribal casinos and a 20% tax on mobile licenses with a $500,000 license fee, caught them off guard and lacks feasibility. Despite Stitt’s efforts to diversify the state’s revenue streams, stakeholders remain skeptical.
Jason Giles pointed out the inexplicable tax rates proposed by Stitt, emphasizing the robustness of the Oklahoma gambling industry and its potential for growth. Giles argued for a more forward-thinking approach, urging the state to move beyond dependence on the fluctuating oil market and consider economic diversification.
Morgan echoed these sentiments, underlining the importance of Oklahoma becoming a pioneer in sports betting before other states capitalize on the opportunity. In response to the economic concerns raised by Giles, Morgan expressed optimism about the resilience of Oklahoma’s gaming industry. He emphasized ongoing investments by tribal nations in casino properties, citing recent openings and renovations across the state.