Oklahoma lawmakers are looking to legalize sports betting in the state in 2022.
US.- Oklahoma lawmakers have filed a sports betting bill in hopes of bringing legalised sports wagering to the state. Introducing gambling laws to legislative sessions is nothing new, but as more states approve sports betting legislation, some legislators think 2022 may be the year.
Rep. Ken Luttrell announced this week that he filed House Bill 3008. The bill would bring in-person sports wagering to the state’s tribal gaming compact. Luttrell said besides creating over 3,000 new jobs, legalising sports wagering would be an economic boon to the tribes, the state and public education.
“Illegal sports betting occurs throughout Oklahoma, and figures I obtained from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) show 11 offences recently with tens of thousands of dollars seized,” Luttrell told the local press.
“This reflects only a fraction of what actually occurs in our state. The Oxford Economics Group estimates that legal sports betting would generate $240m in revenue for Oklahoma and create over 3,000 direct and indirect jobs. This legislation just makes sense,” he added.
Matthew Morgan, chairman of the Oklahoman Indian Gaming Association, said: “Oklahoma with its gaming industry would make sense that it’d be something that our attention turns to, but again I think that the conversation really gets down into the details and does it make economic sense.”
He said that tribes would expect to have exclusive rights to offer sports betting under the state’s tribal gaming compacts. Voter-approved compacts have long granted Oklahoma’s tribes the sole right to operate casinos in exchange for paying the state exclusivity fees ranging from 4 per cent to 10 per cent, depending on the game.
The effort has been defeated in the legislature several times before. Lawmakers have until January 20 to introduce bills and joint resolutions. The next upcoming session starts on February 7.