OKLAHOMA CITY – The future of gaming in our state is being discussed this week at the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association’s annual convention and trade show in downtown Oklahoma City.
Craps and roulette are headed to Oklahoma casinos after a law passed this last legislative session. Tribal officials expect to have ball and dice ready to go by October.
“Which creates more commerce but, more importantly, it creates more tourism for the state. Those players who generally like that form of gaming have not been coming to Oklahoma because we don’t do that,” said Chairman of the OIGA David Qualls.
Approximately half the tribes in Oklahoma have changed their compact with the state to allow the games. Now, they’re waiting on the necessary approval from the Department of Interior in Washington D.C.
“Labor Day’s a little optimistic; maybe shortly after that,” said Dean Luthey, general counsel for OIGA.
Once they get the green light, most tribes are ready to go.
“A lot of the tribes that have decided to pursue that, yes, they already have the equipment bought. They already started training their employees on how the game runs. It’s very complex; lots of rules that go into that,” said Matthew Morgan with the Chickasaw Nation.
Something else being discussed at this year’s convention is sports betting.
A recent Supreme Court decision opened up the possibility for states other than Nevada to offer it. But, it would require a law to be passed in Oklahoma.
“I think it is something that we will be interested in. It just really turns on how the state would allow that to come forward. Those games have a very small margin. And, it’s very important what the tax rate looks like, what the regulatory structure looks like,” Morgan said.
For now, tribal officials said the addition of ball and dice will bring an immediate $20 million boon to Oklahoma.
The games will be played slightly different than in Las Vegas. Instead of playing against the house, players will play against each other.
The state will get 10 percent of the money made from ball and dice gaming.