Oklahoma takes another step toward sports betting at casinos

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Oklahoma took another step closer to allowing sports betting at casinos on tribal land.

House Bill 3008 passed out of Committee 6-4. Those opposed wanted to see negotiations occur between the state and the tribes before another form of gambling is brought to Oklahoma.

“If this passes, the state would get 10%, we’ve seen in other states where they’ve made agreements for up to 25% of the take, so I’m not necessarily saying we need more of take, but all entities need to be involved,” said Rep. Kevin West, (R) Moore.

West said that he believes that’s what Oklahomans would want as well before any changes are made to gaming. That being said, even if changes were made, he would probably still vote no on in-person sports betting.

“But I would have a lot less heartburn over it if we took out the terms portion of it and made it to where it’s negotiated,” West said.

The author of the bill, State Rep. Ken Luttrell, (R) Ponca City, has said he’d be happy if his bill just caused a conversation.

“I would be happy to facilitate that, get everybody to the table and have some good open dialogue and discussion about this, it’s not a make or break for the tribal entities,” Luttrell said.

Luttrell said that offering this form of gaming at casinos would create thousands of jobs and a lot of revenue for both the state and the tribes. As the bill is written, tribes would opt-in but not every tribe is on board just yet.

The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association is not at liberty to share what concerns their members may have.

“But I can tell you this, our members are very interested in the subject, they engage quite regularly within their own communities and their local representatives and state senators. Everybody is unique when it comes to their markets and what they would like to see,” said Matthew Morgan, Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association.

It is important to note that if this bill becomes law, it would not include online sports betting. However, Luttrell said that if his bill is successful, it is only a matter of time until online joins the gaming landscape.