Lawmakers will give it another go in terms of legalizing tribal sports betting in Oklahoma in 2023. A state representative pre-filed a House bill that could pave the way for Oklahoma to benefit from the rising popularity of sports betting.
State Rep. Ken Luttrell introduced House Bill 1027 to bring in-person and online sports betting to tribal casinos and racetracks.
Luttrell said: “I’m ecstatic over that and I had a conversation with the governor yesterday to set up a time to get together with him to look over this legislation.”
Luttrell proposed a similar bill last year but failed to get a vote on the floor during the previous legislative session. This time, Luttrell said, he feels there’s a lot more support.
Governor Kevin Stitt is open to sports betting in Oklahoma
While Oklahoma Gov. did not support Lutrell’s legislation, he did bring optimism regarding sports betting in the state.
Gov. Kevin Stitt tweeted on Jan. 3 saying he is open to sports betting in Oklahoma. As long as it is “fair, transparent, and the state can maximize revenue potential to invest in top priorities, like education.”
Reacting to a tweet, Luttrell said: “Hopefully, I can reassure him that the percentages that are in this bill, on the fees are fair, fair to the tribes, and fair to all Oklahomans.”
Gov. Kevin Stitt appeared on a Tulsa TV station Fox 23. He emphasized he is open to legalizing Oklahoma sports betting, especially if it brings revenue to the state:
“As long as it’s transparent and it’s fair for Oklahomans, then 100%, I’m absolutely open to it. And we’re actually behind the scenes working on what that looks like for Oklahoma. Like you said, Kansas, New Jersey, multiple other states to look at and see how that thing is set up.”
The gaming commission still reviewing House Bill 1027
House Bill 1027 is scheduled to have its first reading in committee on Feb. 6. The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association hasn’t commented on the bill yet.
Matthew L. Morgan, the chairman of the Association, told Koco 5:
“We are currently reviewing Rep. Luttrell’s bill and will be meeting with association member tribes to discuss. As in the past, we will proceed accordingly with the consensus of our members.”
Last year, Luttrell cited a 2017 study by the Oxford Economics Group made for the American Gaming Association. He said:
“The Oxford Economics Group estimates that legal sports betting would generate $240 million in revenue for Oklahoma and create over 3000 direct and indirect jobs. This legislation just makes sense.”