OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The odds of sports betting becoming legal in Oklahoma are increasing.
House Bill 1027, authored by Rep. Ken Luttrell, R-Ponca City, and Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City, “covered the spread” Tuesday afternoon, by a vote of 66-26 on the House Floor.
“We feel like this is a win-win,” said Rep. Luttrell. “What it does is just add sports betting to the games that a tribe can compete with to provide under the gaming compacts… I’m excited that my colleagues saw the economic advantages to this.”
Tribes could offer sports betting either in-person or online. Rep. Luttrell says the state would ask for a small fee depending on how much revenue is made. He adds that sports betting is estimated to bring in about $9 million of revenue per year.
“That’s money that we want to capture in the state of Oklahoma, keep those kind of dollars here in Oklahoma,” said Rep. Luttrell.
According to the bill, 12 percent of that revenue would go to the General Revenue Fund and the remaining 88 percent would be deposited in the Education Revolving Fund.
In the past, Governor Kevin Stitt has expressed his support for sports betting and the potential it has to maximize revenue in the state.
“Let me be clear: I support sports betting in Oklahoma – provided that it’s fair, transparent, and the state can maximize revenue potential to invest in top priorities, like education. More to come,” Gov. Stitt posted on Twitter in January 2023.
However, not every lawmaker is “all in.”
House Representative Jim Olsen, R-Roland, said he voted no on the measure this afternoon and told KFOR that he believes all forms of gambling are “harmful to the moral fabric of our state.”
“It takes advantage of poor people in order for us to increase our revenue as a state and whoever else is involved and makes money. It discourages a proper work ethic,” said Rep. Olsen. “I can’t make everything happen the way I’d like, but I can use my voice to sound a little bit of a warning for the effect that it’s really going to have.”
HB 1027 will now move on to the Senate for further consideration.