Legal Sports Betting Unlikely in 2022 in Oklahoma, Lawmaker Says

The effort to legalize sports betting in Oklahoma this legislative session appears doomed, according to a key lawmaker.

Rep. Ken Luttrell, R-Ponca City, said the odds are against “House Bill 3008 getting heard on the House floor this year.”

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Luttrell is the bill’s sponsor.

The bill, which would add on-site sports betting to the Oklahoma state-tribal gaming compact, recently was approved in the House Appropriations and Budget Committee on a 28-3 vote.

From there, the bill would need approval on the House floor and in the Senate before going to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt for his consideration. Stitt has been in disagreement with the tribes over renewing tribal gaming compacts.

The legislative session is scheduled to end on May 7 at the Capitol in Oklahoma City.

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No Plan to Seek Senate Approval

Luttrell said the sports betting bill apparently “won’t have a seat at the gaming table this session.”

Although sports betting has “widespread support statewide,” the state Senate has no interest in hearing a sports betting option, Luttrell said.

“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,” he said in a statement this weekend.

Luttrell noted that sports betting is legal in some states in the region, including Arkansas. Sports betting in Kansas and Missouri is also under consideration.

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Lawmaker Not Giving Up

Luttrell, a Cherokee citizen, said he will continue conversations with “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.”

“When we do finally get a sports-betting bill passed, it will be a jackpot for our entire state,” he said.

Under Luttrell’s HB3008, the state would receive 10% of monthly net win from sportsbooks statewide. He has said that in-person sports betting inside casinos could generate $240 million in revenue for the state annually.

Oklahoma Home to Tribal Gaming Sites Statewide

Oklahoma casinos are run by the state’s 35 tribal nations. They operate more than 130 gaming facilities, ranging from Las Vegas-style casinos to travel plazas with slot machines, according to the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association.

Among other games, the tribes oversees 72,850 electronic devices and 5,300 bingo seats.

The state does not have non-tribal casinos.

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