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Oklahoma Sports Betting

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 19, 2021

Those living in Oklahoma wanting to bet on the Sooners’ storied football program have to travel to a neighboring state such as Arkansas or New Mexico to place a wager.

But in the summer of 2019, the state’s Native American tribes made some noise they were interested in legal sports wagering and they’ve been waiting for Gov. Kevin Stitt to reach out.

The governor has reached out and it’s not exactly what tribal officials were seeking. Stitt would like to renegotiate the tribes’ long-standing gaming compacts and the tax revenue sharing, which has prompted the tribes to unite against the efforts of the governor.

Oklahoma’s 38 tribes operate 130 casinos through the state, including gaming stations at convenience stores to full-scale gambling resorts and casinos with slot machines, video poker, poker, and blackjack.

Legislation passed in 2018, about the time of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that expanded sports betting outside Nevada, allows craps and roulette. The legislature has yet to directly address legal sports betting.

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Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Chairman Matt Morgan said in July that tribes may be willing to discuss revenue if the state also expands their gaming options, such as sports betting.

At a campaign rally in mid-November, Still said he is ready to negotiate.

"We really want to get a fair deal for the casino industry and for the state of Oklahoma," Stitt said, according to KXII-TV, Channel 12.

According to the Republican governor, the 15-year-old compacts expire in the New Year 2020, and he believes the 4 percent to 10 percent gaming revenue – about $140 million annually -- collected from the tribes should be more.

Those compacts were renegotiated to allow sports betting on tribal land but the state AG Mike Hunter vehemently disagreed with the actions saying that the Governor didn't have the authority to agree to such a deal. 

This leaves the situation very much up in the air.

Is sports betting currently legal in the state?

No. It is clear any path to legal sports betting in the state will come through the tribes.

What about horse racing?

Oklahoma is very much a horse racing state having Remington Park among its racetracks. Wagers can also be placed online with a selection of operators that includes Bet America, Twinspires, and AM Wager. As you would expect there are some restrictions with residents of the state unable to places wagers online for racing at Fair Meadows and Remington Park. 

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