Just when you thought that maybe some good news would be on the way for the Oklahoma sports betting push, the opposite has been the case over the past month or so. In case you missed it, the Oklahoma Governor revealed a new sports betting plan for the state to try and get across the line for 2024. However, he did so without consulting the local Indian tribes. For weeks now, it has been made clear that Kevin Stitt is causing issues with his Oklahoma sports betting plan. Will things get better?
That’s totally up in the air, as a lot of people are upset with the way things have been handled. Originally, there was some excitement around Stitt’s betting initiative, as it looked like it would also include online options from the start. However, with the tribes turning against him once again, the split in things has people worried that perhaps this latest attempt by Oklahoma won’t be as promising as originally expected.
“I promised Oklahomans if we pursued sports betting, we would do it right – and this plan does just that,” Stitt said in a release on the new bill presented for legal sports betting to arrive in Oklahoma. “Thirty-five states have already legalized sports betting, and it’ll be a great revenue stream for the state.”
While Stitt knows that the betting plan could bring in a lot of money for the state, there’s no question that there are a lot of issues with things too. How will he make adjustments? It’s up in the air if he’s going to meet with the local tribes to hear what kind of changes they’d like to see, but the buzz around the state is that things are going to continue to be rough on both ends for a while. Still wants to make sports betting happen, but he needs to iron out the relationship with the tribes first.
Today I rolled out my plan to bring sports betting to Oklahoma.
I promised if we pursued sports betting, we’d do it right— and this plan does just that.
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) November 2, 2023
Oklahoma citizens are sick of having to leave the state to make bets
One thing that has been made clear this fall is that Oklahoma citizens are sick of having to leave the state to make bets. With no legal options for Oklahomans, this has led them to set vacations to nearby states with gambling options. However, they would much rather be able to make those bets from the comfort of their own home. Online betting would be huge for Oklahoma, especially during the football season.
Right now, people would love nothing more than to check the NFL betting odds and place bets on their favorite teams. Not only that, but NBA betting would be sky-high too, as the Oklahoma City Thunder have a lot of young talent on their squad, of course including former first-round pick Chet Holmgren. However, the issue here is the division among the tribes. They’re not happy at all that Stitt has decided to leave them at bay during the early stages of this process.
Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City, today called on Gov. Kevin Stitt to collaborate with tribal leaders to advance sports betting in the future.
— Oklahoma State Senate (@oksenate) April 18, 2023
“The members of the OIGA (Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association) have been preparing to receive an offer from the state on sports betting for the past couple of years, and while we appreciate Governor Stitt finally joining the sports betting conversation, to date he has not engaged in meaningful and respectful government-to-government discussion with tribes,” Morgan said via a public statement.
As long as there are no legal options put in place for people in the state to go after, then all we’re going to keep on seeing is people head elsewhere for their sports betting needs or look for illegal options. This has been a growing problem in Oklahoma and officials are ready to do what’s needed to try and bring the numbers down. Legal wagers would set the tone there, but again, Stitt needs to find a way to make the tribes happy.
Will Oklahoma sports betting arrive in 2024?
Right now, the main question everyone in the state has in mind is will Oklahoma sports betting arrive in 2024? That’s tough to say. While Stitt wants to move forward with his current sports betting plan, there are several loops that still need to be jumped through. At the same time, he’s also consulting with local universities to see what teams and coaches think of his plan.
That’s a great move by Stitt, but it also opens eyes because of the fact that he’s decided to meet with them first instead of tribal leaders. Nevertheless, Stitt is going to keep on working to get feedback for his plan and then decide to keep advancing the project. Will that lead to legal wagers within the next 12 months?
Oklahoma needs sports betting, that’s a given. Stitt is ambitious to get it done, which is surprising because it seemed like he was against things not too long ago. Only time will tell if this attempt to legalize sports betting will be historic or not. Things are a bit unclear at this time, but there seems to be a real shot that Stitt gets things approved. We shall see if the tribes jump on board with plans too.