A bill legalizing tribal retail sports betting in Oklahoma made it through a key committee Wednesday, but a deadline looms to continue its journey.
The House Appropriations and Budget Committee approved HB 3008, 28-3. The OK sports betting bill now has until March 24 to pass the House and make its way to the Senate.
Rep. Mickey Dollens and Sen. Bill Coleman were added as authors. The Oklahoma legislative session finishes May 27.
OK sports betting bill details
Rep. Ken Luttrell introduced HB 3008 in early January. The bill would add retail sports betting to the games allowed at casinos in Oklahoma under the state’s tribal compacts, but at least four tribes have to opt into an expanded model tribal-state compact.
“I have had conversations with our gaming tribes during the interim to gauge their interest on this topic,” Luttrell said in a statement at the time of introduction. “I feel the time is right for Oklahoma to partner with the tribes and ensure a level, competitive gaming playing field with the surrounding states.”
The act would be effective Nov. 1 if passed. Any amended compacts also require the approval of the US Department of the Interior.
Sports betting impact
Tribes would pay the state 10% of monthly net sports betting revenue.
When Luttrell announced the bill, he cited a 2017 Oxford Economics Group estimate that Oklahoma sports betting could generate up to $240 million in revenue. That estimate is likely a bit off, suggests LSR’s John Holden.
Mississippi, a slightly smaller state by population, has generated just $175 million in revenue since launching retail sports betting in 2018. The state’s tax gains from that total? $21 million.
Oklahoma sports betting history
A tribal deal nearly launched legal sports betting in Oklahoma in 2020. Gov. Kevin Stitt and two tribes, the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, agreed to new compacts which allowed event wagering.
The compacts were even approved by the Department of the Interior. Oklahoma sports betting, however, was derailed before it could launch.
The compacts were overturned when the state Supreme Court ruled against Stitt in a lawsuit filed by Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall. The legislators, and the court, said the governor did not have the power to create new laws.
Neighbors legalizing around OK
Oklahoma’s two most significant neighbors, Kansas to the north and Texas to the south, do not have legal sports betting. In Kansas, that could soon change.
To the east, Missouri legislators are also contemplating the issue, while Arkansas recently approved expanding from retail to mobile.
To the west, New Mexico tribes offer retail sports betting, while Colorado offers a robust market that is nearly 99% online.