The future of Oklahoma sports betting

The future of sports betting in Oklahoma is unclear at the moment, but there is certainly an appetite from some lawmakers in the state to push for legalization.

Rep. Ken Luttrell’s HB 1027 gained some momentum and advanced through the House on Mar. 21, 2023, but the bill failed in the Senate after at least one industry source stated there was too big of a gap between Gov. Kevin Stitt and the state’s gaming tribes to get the industry off the ground.

Whatever the future holds for legal sports betting in Oklahoma, the state’s strong network of tribal gaming entities are likely to be involved in some way.

When will online Oklahoma sports betting launch?

It is not clear when sports betting apps might launch in the state and begin offering online sportsbooks promos. The proposed 2023 legislation gained some momentum, but ultimately fell far short of passing. It is feasible that the industry could get off the ground in Oklahoma sometime in 2024.

Legal sports betting options in Oklahoma

Right now, there are no options to place legal bets in Oklahoma.

Any online sportsbooks that claim they can accept bets from someone in Oklahoma at this point is an unlicensed offshore operator. That means anyone placing a bet with that operator has no consumer protections through US laws. The book could choose to not pay out a winning bet or close operations without returning customer funds.

Oklahoma’s situation could change quickly depending on what the tribes decide to do, and what the state and federal governments allow.

That number could become drastically bigger if other tribal gaming entities decide to renegotiate their compacts. Oklahoma has 38 federally-recognized tribes, 35 of which have signed gaming compacts with the state.

Oklahoma also has the most tribal casinos of any US state with 143 tribal casinos and gaming centers – though it should be noted that not all of those casinos would offer sportsbooks if sports betting became legal.

Most popular sports to bet in Oklahoma

It remains to be seen if any future legislation allows for legal betting on in-state college sports (the 2020 compacts did not) as the college teams in the state might be the most popular. The Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys in particular have incredibly popular football and basketball programs

NCAA betting in Oklahoma

Betting on other Big 12 college football and basketball games would also be significant if legal as Sooners and Cowboys fans will be familiar with the other teams in the leagues.

NBA betting in Oklahoma

Oklahoma also has one major league professional team, the NBA‘s Oklahoma City Thunder. Thunder games and other NBA games might get more action than other professional leagues.

NFL betting in Oklahoma

The state’s proximity to Texas could lead to significant betting on the NFL‘s Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans as well. The Cowboys are the most popular NFL team in the state, but Oklahoma fans are also known to root for former Sooners who go on to play in the NFL like Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.

Golf betting in Oklahoma

LIV Golf has held an event at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow, which is a suburb south of Tulsa. Rickie Fowler, a top contender at the 2023 British Open, played at Oklahoma State University.

Oklahoma and daily fantasy sports

While not explicitly legal in state law, daily fantasy sports operators do accept contest entries from customers in Oklahoma.

Some states have chosen to regulate the companies so they can tax those contests. Other state attorneys general have said the contests are outright illegal.

Oklahoma falls into the other category, meaning DraftKings and FanDuel can still operate freely within the state.

Is horse racing legal in Oklahoma?

Yes, horse racing and betting are legal in Oklahoma.

There are three horse racing tracks in Oklahoma:

All three facilities also offer simulcast betting. Remington Park and Will Rogers Downs are tribal-owned and also feature casinos. The Chickasaw Nation operates Remington Park and the Cherokee Nation operates Will Rogers Downs.

Oklahoma sports betting timeline

2023: Rep. Ken Luttrell introduces sports betting bill HB 1027. The bill advanced through the House Committee on Appropriations and Budget, but still has significant hurdles ahead to pass.

HB 1027 passed through the House with a 66-26 vote, keeping the bill alive for now. However, the bill advanced with its title off, which suggests it still requires additional changes and must return to the House.

HB 1027 later fails to clear a Senate committee before a deadline.

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond joined a federal lawsuit against Gov. Kevin Stitt. Drummond claims the four Oklahoma gaming compacts signed by Stitt in 2020 were invalid. 

2022: Rep. Ken Luttrell introduces HB 3008. It dies on the House floor after gaining some momentum and passing through committee.

2020: Gov. Kevin Stitt approves sports betting on tribal land by renegotiating two tribal gaming compacts. The compacts, signed with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe, permitted betting on all but in-state college teams and in-state college events.

Attorney General Mike Hunter quickly disagrees with the governor’s actions the same day the compacts are announced. He later publishes a formal opinion outlining why Stitt lacks the authority to offer sports betting.

The effort to legalize was sidelined before launch when House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat sued Stitt and the court ruled against the Governor and his compacts. 

The governor is reportedly only allowed to authorize tribes to operate games that are listed in the state’s Tribal Gaming Act. Sports betting, or event betting as it’s called in the compacts, is not listed in the Act.

2019: Gov. Stitt and most of Oklahoma’s gaming tribes were in disagreement as to what happened with their gaming compacts Jan. 1, 2020.

Stitt started looking to renegotiate the compacts in 2019 after stating the compacts would expire on Jan. 1, but 29 tribes signed a letter sent to Stitt explaining to him that they believed their compacts would automatically renew on Jan. 1.

The Cherokee, Chickasaw and Chocktaw nations filed a federal lawsuit that was eventually joined by nine other tribes. The Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe were a part of that lawsuit but dropped out as part of the settlement after renegotiating their compacts.

Stitt would eventually offers sports betting as part of a new compact for multiple tribes, but those tribes turned down the offer, according to a local report citing the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association.

Oklahoma sports betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Oklahoma?

No. Sports betting is not legal in Oklahoma.

Where can I bet on sports in Oklahoma?

There are currently no legal betting options in Oklahoma.

Can I bet on sports on my phone in Oklahoma?

Mobile sports betting is not legal in Oklahoma.

Any website that suggests betting from within Oklahoma is legal is operating without a US license as an offshore sportsbook. Those operations give bettors no consumer protections, meaning there’s no guarantee bets will be paid out. The operations could also close without refunding customer accounts.

Where can I bet on sports at a casino in Oklahoma?

There is no legal sports betting in Oklahoma at the moment.