Oklahoma’s Sports Betting Bill Could Increase Revenue Numbers
Rep. Ken Luttrell announced a couple of weeks ago that he has filed House Bill 3008. This would ultimately bring retail sports betting to the state’s tribal gaming compact as he believes that the state is losing potential revenue to neighboring states.
Can Oklahoma’s Sports Betting Bill Bring in Huge Revenue?
Oklahoma is home to nearly 4 million people, which is the 28th most populous state in the nation. Taking every step to provide sports betting to its residents through Sooner Tribes is what legislation is pushing for. However, the question is how Oklahoma will reach the projected $240 million sports betting revenue.
While the bill seems very promising, there are just a lot of questionable remarks in writing. This is not the state’s first effort to try to get sports betting legalized in the state. In 2020, the Comanche Nation and Otoe Missouria tribes negotiated gaming compacts with Gov. Kevin Stitt.
The Supreme Court blocked the push for allowing legalized sports betting to take place in the state. The new bill will not be discussed until February 7th, and it states that at least four tribes should be able to enter into the model tribal-state compacts.
This would all have to be approved by the Secretary of the Interior. Once approved by the tribes, sports betting would be allowed to take place in brick-and-mortar facilities. The bill would also call for the expansion of racetracks to expand the gaming reach in the Sooner State.
Rep. Ken Luttrell stated a few weeks ago “This reflects only a fraction of what actually occurs in our state. The Oxford Economics Group estimates that legal sports betting would generate $240 million in revenue for Oklahoma and create over 3000 direct and indirect jobs. This legislation just makes sense.”
Under the current terms, tribes in Oklahoma pay four to ten percent in gambling-related taxes. Should the legislation pass retail sports betting, the tribes will pay 10 percent in state taxes based on net revenue. The tribes will receive a monopolistic hold on the market.
Where Could Oklahoma Benefit in Sports Betting Revenue?
The numbers would be great to see, but one must wonder where the money will come from with only 4 million residents. A form of mobile sports betting will most likely not be a part of this bill.
Looking at another state with a similar approach to Oklahoma, Mississippi had revenue of $165 million despite being one of the first states to launch retail sports betting. Sports betting would be a good approach for Oklahoma as Texas does not offer any form of sports betting in the state.
Texas is the second-most populous state in the nation, with over 29 million people. Oklahoma sports have a solid fan base for the Oklahoma City Thunder and collegiate teams, like the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The question becomes who is supporting the sports betting bill with the uncertainty from the tribes. Looking back on history, one of the biggest illegal sports betting operations started in Oklahoma City.