A bill that would have legalized sports betting at tribal casinos has come up snake eyes, according to its author, State Rep. Ken Luttrell of Ponca City.
“It appears that sports betting won’t have a seat at the gaming table this session,” Luttrell said. “Despite widespread support statewide, there has not been real interest in hearing this gaming option in the Senate. In the House, we understand the economics of millions of dollars in Oklahoma every week being bet through foreign online gaming operations and Oklahoma not seeing one cent of revenue from this, but I don’t want to roll the dice in the Senate and come up craps.”
The bill, drawn up after consultation with major gaming tribes including the Osage Nation, would have legalized sports book by tribes in exchange for a 10 percent take of net profits. Luttrell said that legal sports betting could generate about $240 million in new revenue and create 3,000 new jobs based on outlooks by the Oxford Economics Group.
A research analysis by the state House of Representatives was vague – and displayed a firm grasp of the obvious, stating that the potential revenue increase would be “Dependent on Establishment of Sports Pools and Volume of Handle.”
Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear said that the Nation supported the bill, but Osage Casinos CEO Byron Bighorse and Gaming Enterprise Board Chairman Mark Revard never returned phone calls from the Osage News when it attempted to write an article about the bill in January.
According to Luttrell, there are currently 30 states with legal sports betting and another 15 considering it in 2022. Arkansas has legalized it in their casinos and Kansas is currently working on an agreement of its own.
“I will continue conversations with our tribal gaming partners, the Senate and the Executive branch to ensure a level, competitive playing field with adjoining states, and a fee schedule fair to the tribes and the state, that the Senate can support,” Luttrell said. “When we do finally get a sports betting bill passed, it will be a jackpot for our entire state.”