Another attempt to legalize sports betting at tribal casinos in Oklahoma has surfaced – this time in the state legislature.
Oklahoma state Rep. Ken Luttrell of Ponca City introduced House Bill 3008 on Jan. 10. The proposal would allow in-person sports betting under existing tribal-state gaming agreements, or compacts, pending federal approval.
Mobile sports betting is not mentioned in the proposal.
The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Oklahoma House on Feb. 7 when the state legislature officially convenes for its 2022 Regular Session in Oklahoma City. It is expected to be referred for committee review soon thereafter.
With a legislative effective date of Nov. 1, 2022, any sportsbook launch under HB 3008 would likely be pushed into 2023 to accommodate federal regulatory timelines.
New Jobs And New Revenue In Oklahoma
Luttrell has said his proposal would create at least 3,000 jobs and $240 million in annual state revenue, according to a Jan. 10 article in the Journal Record.
At least some of the new revenue would come from a proposed 10 percent tax on net winnings of approved sports pools at tribal casinos across the Sooner State.
All but a handful of Oklahoma’s 143 casinos are on tribal land, including 10 casinos owned and operated by the Cherokee Nation in Northeast Oklahoma. Luttrell is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
“I have had conversations with our gaming tribes during the interim to gauge their interest on this topic,” the Republican lawmaker is quoted as saying in the Journal Record. “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.”
A Litigious Road To Sports Betting Legalization
The last attempt to legalize sports betting in Oklahoma happened in 2020 when amended compacts to allow sports pools were signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt, as well as the Kialegee Tribal Town and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.
Neither compact received state legislative approval.
Both compacts were eventually struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 2021, months after the state’s high court ruled against amended gaming compacts that Stitt had signed with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria tribes.