Decision on Legal Sports Betting in Oklahoma to be Made on Thursday

| March 2, 2022 10:28 am PDT
  • Sports betting in Oklahoma could launch by 2023.
  • HB3008 must be approved by Thursday, March 3 to pass this session.
  • Time is running out for a decision to be made.

Punters looking to bet legally on sports in tribal casinos will find out this Thursday if their wishes will come true.

While online gambling in Oklahoma is the only option for some, many bettors are hoping that laws are passed that will permit placing bets inside state lines. As things stand, those betting online in Oklahoma can only do so by using sportsbooks and sites that operate outside of the state. 

Should legislature pass by March 3, Oklahoma will join other US states in rolling out legal sports betting.

When Will Sports Betting be Legalized in Oklahoma?

On Monday, March 1, a budget subcommittee report was issued concerning legalizing sports betting in the state of Oklahoma.

The report was clear in its recommendation that the House Appropriations and Budget Committee approve HB3008. If approved, the legislation would open up the possibility of legalizing several sportsbooks inside Oklahoma tribal casinos. 

For this to become a reality, it would depend on federal approval of amended tribal-state gaming compacts. As things stand, those looking to bet online in Oklahoma would not be allowed to do so under the contents of the bill. That means gamblers inside the state would still be forced to use online betting sites that operate outside of the state lines, should they wish to do so.

For the bill to be approved, the committee must give the go-ahead before the cutoff date on Thursday. Unless it is approved by March 3, it will not advance the session which ends on Friday, May 27.

Legal Sports Betting in Oklahoma Could Launch by 2023 

Should HB3003 be approved, sports betting in tribal casinos could be rolled out by November 2022.

However, it is highly unlikely that the ball will be rolling any earlier than 2023, with issues surrounding the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) likely to hold things up.

In short, amended tribal-state gaming compacts must be approved on a federal level. This would meet the requirements by the IGRA.

With the US Department of the Interior likely to take up to 45 days to sign off on approval of the amendments, this pushes the date forward to 2023. Furthermore, the agency is allotted three months for such amendments to be made official via publication in the Federal Register.

The consensus is that tribal-state agreements of this kind are usually dealt with fairly quickly. This means that bets on early-year sports events such as Super Bowl 57 could be legal for Oklahoma bettors once placed inside tribal sportsbooks.

The Benefits of Legal Sports Betting in Oklahoma

Although it’s too early to get excited, there are positive signs that the ban on sports betting in Oklahoma will be lifted. 

The state has upwards of 130 casinos and the financial benefits of legal sports betting in the state would be too good to turn down. Rep. Ken Luttrell of R-Ponca City used Mississippi as the best example of the positive effects it could bring. 

“Their state revenue right now is a million dollars a month. Their betting is $83 million a month in their 23 casinos.

“When you do the math, looking at Oklahoma with 131 casinos that would be eligible to participate in this, the projected income for the state of Oklahoma is substantial.
The projected income for those tribes is substantial plus the jobs it would create.”Ken Luttrell

Again, a decision will be made this Thursday. Bettors will be keeping their fingers crossed for the answer they want to hear.

Until then, make sure to keep an eye on our betting blog for the best in odds, advice, and betting content.

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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