Commander Dan Thacker
A new bill has been proposed so as to finally allow residents of Oklahoma to bet on sport legally without having to cross state borders. The new bill hopes to incorporate sports betting in-person at tribal casinos.
Oklahoma has long steered clear of attempting to enter the legal sports betting market. Past negotiations have been met with strong resistance. However, the new House Bill 3008 looks to do what other bills and debates have been unable to do – formally legalize sports betting activities in the Sooner State. However, it is far from a done deal as a lot of legwork and political back scratching is required.
Sports betting has been somewhat of a contentious issue amongst lawmakers and the general public. But, after the federal ban on sports betting was revoked in 2018, the case for regulated betting – in-person, online, and otherwise – has been made throughout the US. Up until date, more than 30 different states have now adopted some sort of legal framework whereby citizens are able to enjoy sports betting services.
The fact of the matter is that states that still ban such activities are constantly losing out across the board. First off, states find that dollars migrate consistently out of the state to neighboring states that have some form of legal betting. Therefore, Oklahoma is losing actual fiat currency which is simply being spent elsewhere. A move to legalize betting will ensure that residents spend money within the state. It also increases state revenue and the ability to provide social programs to those who require it.
Lastly, whether sports betting is legalized or not, illicit markets are still prevalent. A regulated market for this very activity will simply help eradicate offshore betting sites as well as in-person betting which is, by the rule of the law, actually outlawed. It creates a safer environment for all involved.
It’s clear that the bill will look to establish safe sports betting outlets which will be based in licensed land-based casinos. In-person betting will be, as has been the case in other states, the first step in creating a cohesive and safe environment for residents to place wagers. However, there has also been mention that online sports betting options are also being considered. However, access to online platforms for betting will likely need to be approved via a rigorous regulatory process.
All in all, it is hopeful that the governor of Oklahoma and the tribes that currently have the right to provide gambling services can finally sit down and engage in meaningful debate on the matter. There is little reason why the tribes that reside in the Sooner State will object to an expansion within the gambling industry. It will only serve to bolster their presence across all facets of gambling in the state.
It’s also worth noting that Oklahoma City Thunder have been approached for comment on the matter. It is clear that the NBA team are certainly open to partaking in a market where regulated sports betting is adopted.
This is a developing story. The legislature is set to address the proposed bill after February 7th. At PlayersBest, we continue to keep our ears to the ground. We’ll be sure to update all residents of Oklahoma in due time as to any new developments. For now, we recommend you check in with our latest coverage to gain the necessary knowledge for sports betting in case the day does arrive where legal betting is permitted.