Sports betting in Oklahoma will be a legislative topic for a second straight year, though there are some tweaks to last year’s proposal.
The bill, HB 1027, again comes from the desk of Rep. Ken Luttrell. The biggest difference is that this year’s iteration of the bill would legalize both retail and mobile Oklahoma sportsbooks.
Oklahoma’s legislature has one of the shorter sessions of 2023. The session officially starts Feb. 6, with a crossover deadline of March 23 and adjournment scheduled for May 26.
Changes in Oklahoma sports betting bill
The main idea of the sports betting bill remains the same: allow Indian gaming tribes to amend their compacts with the state of Oklahoma to offer betting. At least four tribes would need to amend their compacts and offer sports betting in Oklahoma for the legislation to be valid.
Outside of the addition of mobile betting, the biggest change comes down to the exclusivity fees the tribe would pay the state.
Last year, Luttrell suggested a flat 10% rate of all net revenue, but he is aiming lower this year. HB 1027 sets the exclusivity payments at:
- 4% of the first $5 million in monthly net revenue
- 5% of the next $5 million
- 6% on anything above $10 million.
OK nearly had legal betting in 2020
If Gov. Kevin Stitt had his way, sports betting in Oklahoma would have been legal in spring 2020.
Stitt attempted to approve two renegotiated compacts that included event wagering, which was another name for sports betting that also included esports betting. Those two tribes could have taken bets on all sports except for in-state colleges and collegiate sports events happening in the state.
Former Attorney General Mike Hunter disagreed, saying new forms of gambling not specifically approved under the state’s Tribal Gaming Act could not be added to a compact. Stitt was eventually sued by Senate and House leaders at the time, with the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling against Stitt in July of that year.
Stitt noted on Twitter Tuesday that he supports sports betting in the state as long as it is “fair, transparent, and the state can maximize revenue potential to invest in top priorities, like education.”