Want to bet on a Thunder game? Newly filed sports betting bill could make that happen in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Politics

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Some estimate more than $2 billion is bet on sports each month here in the U.S. One Oklahoma legislator says it’s time for our state to get a slice of the sports betting pie and he has filed a new bill to legalize it in Oklahoma.

With our neighbors in Kansas and Arkansas making changes to their sports betting laws, some officials here in our state say too many Oklahoma dollars are moving across the borders.

A new bill would stop that, with the help of the tribes.

“It’s good. It’s good for the state and it’s good for the tribes,” said Rep. Ken Luttrell, R-Ponca City.

House Bill 3008 would do for Oklahoma what 29 other states and the District of Columbia have already done – legalize sports betting.

“It’s the right time to do it. It’s not a moral issue. It really is an economic issue that will benefit both the tribes and the state of Oklahoma,” said Luttrell.

Luttrell is a member of the Cherokee tribe. He estimates sports betting would deliver $240 million per year to the state and create 3,000 direct and indirect jobs, if set up through traditional tribal gaming outlets.

“This is an illegal activity that is going on that nobody gets the benefit of those revenue dollars coming forward,” said Matthew Morgan of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association. “If the state wants to participate in that revenue stream, it has a path forward through tribal operators.”

There has been no reported movement recently between the tribes and the Governor on a new gaming compact.

But Kevin Stitt’s office says he could be open to the idea.

“Governor Stitt is open to any compact as long as it is a fair deal, enforceable, and provides the transparency and accountability all 4 million Oklahomans deserve.”

“Well I think our gaming compact already does that the way that it’s set up,” said Morgan.

“As co-chair of the Native American caucus, we are hoping that this will also open up some new dialogue between our Governor and our Tribes,” said Luttrell.

Both Luttrell and Morgan say sports books would likely be in-person at the casinos, but online options could be possible.

“Being that this is a technology intensive industry, I think those conversations would naturally be had. I don’t think it necessarily leads to other mobile betting but the possibility exists,” said Morgan.

We reached out to the Oklahoma City Thunder for their thoughts on the new sports betting bill they sent back a statement saying,

“We fully support legal sports betting in Oklahoma and we definitely have an interest in the discussion.”

OKC Thunder

Luttrell and Morgan say many of the tribes have already done the work on how to implement new kinds of betting.

The bill can be heard in committee as the Oklahoma legislative session is slated to start Feb. 7.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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