New Oklahoma Sports Betting Bill Continues to Anger Local Tribes

When it comes to trying to legalize Oklahoma sports betting, nothing but drama has followed this project in recent years. Unfortunately, more of the same has been the case since Governor Kevin Stitt decided to release a new sports betting bill. This came in from out of nowhere and Indian tribes were quite upset they weren’t consulted on things. Now, the new Oklahoma sports betting bill continues to anger local tribes and that’s not good at all for lawmakers.

According to a report, Stitt is still pushing forward with his sports betting plan, but he’s not receiving the kind of support he thought he’d be getting. That’s because tribes are not happy at all and they’re doing everything in their power to make sure the local public in Oklahoma knows that they’re not on board with things. If this keeps on happening for Stitt, then what kind of a chance will he have for this bill to move forward once it’s time to start voting?

β€œThe Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association was not consulted prior to Gov. Stitt releasing his sports betting plan,” the OIGA said in a statement recently. β€œThe members of the OIGA have been preparing to receive an offer from the state on sports betting for the past couple of years, and while we appreciate Gov. Stitt finally joining the sports betting conversation, to date he has not engaged in meaningful and respectful government-to-government discussion with tribes.”

One of the major roadblocks for the sports betting push in Oklahoma has been Stitt and the tribes not being able to get on the same page. With these latest updates, sports fans in Oklahoma are becoming quite frustrated with Stitt. Why did he not consult with the tribes before trying to move forward with this? From our chair, it doesn’t make much sense and more problems for Sitt and Co. could be on the way in the near future.

Governor Kevin Stitt is confident in his sports betting plan

Despite the push-back that he’s receiving right now, Governor Kevin Stitt is confident in his sports betting plan and he has a feeling that things will finally be able to cross the line. Last November, Stitt first dropped the new sports betting bill and it caught a lot of people by surprise. This of course includes the tribes, which we discussed at length above. Stitt feels like the details of his plan will benefit the state.

As things stand, and they could surely change, Stitt’s betting plan would require a 20 percent tax rate. In addition, sportsbooks interested in moving forward with Oklahoma as a partner would have to pay a $500,000 licensing fee to start and then pay an additional $100,000 each year they remain in operation. This would generate a ton of revenue money for the state, which appears to be Stitt’s top focus.

β€œI promised Oklahomans if we pursued sports betting, we would do it right β€” and this plan does just that,” said Stitt in a release when he announced his plan this past fall. β€œThirty-five states have already legalized sports betting, and it’ll be a great revenue stream for the state. Tribes will be able to add it onto their existing infrastructure, and Oklahomans can access it right from their phone.”

Online betting would of course play a massive role in things, as Stitt wants to make sure mobile options are present from the start. The majority of states in the USA have pushed through with mobile betting and we’ve seen how strong the results have been. This is something Stitt 100 percent has been keeping a close eye on, which is why he wants things to include online bets from Day 1. First, though, he needs to get more people on board before the next steps can be taken.

Football betting will dominate in Oklahoma if things get legalized

Taking a look at the grand scheme of things, there’s no question in our minds that football betting will dominate in Oklahoma if things get legalized. Both NFL betting and NCAAF betting would be quite spectacular. Again, this has to be something that Stitt will be focused on in the future.

On Sunday, the Chiefs and 49ers played in what proved to be a memorable Super Bowl. In the end, Patrick Mahomes and Co. were able to come away with a thrilling win in overtime. Unfortunately for people in Oklahoma, they weren’t allowed to place any legal bets on the action.

However, no one is naive enough to believe that this stopped local citizens from betting on the game. Football wagers at both the pro and college levels have been an issue in terms of illegal betting. Millions of dollars are being moved around each year in an unregulated fashion. This is what Stitt and the people in his office are surely tired of seeing. That’s why he and his team want legal wagers so bad. It will be interesting to see if things can finally get done later this year. The state needs it.

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Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football, baseball and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university. Over time, Peter has cultivated extensive knowledge covering sports betting legislation across the country. He closely tracks the latest regulatory developments and provides key insights into their impacts. Peter also offers sharp MLB betting analysis, leveraging stats and trends to identify value on matchups.