Oklahoma Sports Betting Depends on Improved Relations With Tribes

As we inch closer to the start of the football season, it remains disappointing that Oklahoma sports betting remains illegal. People would love nothing more than to place wagers on their favorite teams, but they have to travel outside of the state to make that happen. With that said, it has been clear on multiple occasions that Oklahoma sports betting depends on improved relations with the tribe.

Though the efforts to get things on the right track haven’t taken off, there’s no question that there has been plenty of support from politicians. This includes Governor Kevin Stitt, who has publicly spoken in favor of legal betting on multiple occasions. With that said, it’s no secret that his relationship with local tribes hasn’t been great. For legal sports betting to arrive, that needs to change as soon as possible.

Everyone in Oklahoma knows that Stitt and the tribes have had their issues in the past, as they can’t seem to get on the same page. This is a major reason why no good betting news has arrived. Because of the uncertainty there, people are not optimistic that things will be able to take a positive step forward during the next legislative session. If things don’t improve, then we may need to wait until 2025 or 2026 for the laws to change.

Could you imagine if people have to wait three more years for legal sports betting to arrive? That would be a nightmare for thousands of people, as they’ve been trying to stay patient with this whole process. They’re also sick of having to leave the state to nearby places to try and get their wagers in. There’s a lot of pressure on Stitt to get this fixed as soon as possible, but no one knows how things will play out.

Local businesses are waiting for Oklahoma sports betting to arrive

From an economic standpoint, local businesses are waiting for Oklahoma sports betting to arrive. With so many sports fans leaving the state, particularly during the football season, consistently, it’s resulting in money being spent outside of Oklahoma for no reason. Imagine if people were able to make legal wagers inside of state lines. This would not only keep people close to home, but it would also result in plenty of tourists.

Right now, people love checking the NBA betting odds for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the only wagers they’re able to make are illegal ones. While things in Oklahoma aren’t as high as in California or Florida in terms of illegal bookies, there’s still a ton of that activity in the area, which is frustrating. Authorities are always going to do their best to try and keep things down, but plenty of illegal operations fall through the cracks.

Stitt knows all about this, which is why he has been pushing for legalization for a while now. However, the longer things aren’t able to be given the green light, the more illegal bets we’re going to see moving forward. That’s why it is so important for Stitt to try and figure things out with the tribes. After that happens, the wheels can get in motion for the right sports betting bill to get drawn up.

It’s important to remember too that Stitt’s current term as Governor will come to a close in 2026. It is going to be imperative for him to try and get things together far in advance of that. If sports betting doesn’t arrive by then, a lot of people are going to remember his time in office as being a failure when it came to this sports betting debacle. Only time will tell if he can turn things around, but things indeed are unclear at this point.

Oklahoma is missing out on a lot of potential betting revenue

With camp here for football teams across the country, Oklahoma is missing out on a lot of potential betting revenue. Despite there not being a pro NFL team in the state, people love football. On top of that, college football fans can’t wait to see what the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys will be able to do this year, as there’s pressure on both programs to post memorable campaigns.

Both the Big-12 powerhouses have loaded rosters and their fans and alumni are checking the NCAAF betting odds to see how they stack up to the rest of the conference. However, as we all know by now, no one can place a legal wager on either of those teams due to the way things stand in Oklahoma. That could change in the next few years, though.

Stitt knows the importance of sports betting, but he also knows that Oklahoma is missing out on a ton of money from a revenue standpoint throughout the year. However, perhaps there’s no better time for fans to gather than when the football campaign gets started. In the future, no legal betting during the NFL and NCAAF seasons simply can’t be the case for Oklahoma and its citizens.

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.