December 5, 2023

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has announced his plans to launch both in-person and mobile sports betting in the state. The proposal includes the establishment of retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos and the authorization for private companies to operate mobile sportsbooks after obtaining state approval and licensing.

Under the plan, in-person betting will be conducted by federally recognized state tribes, with the revenue taxed at a rate of 15%. On the other hand, online sports betting will be operated by private companies licensed by the state. These companies will be required to pay a licensing fee of $500,000, with an annual renewal fee of $100,000. The revenue from mobile sports betting will be taxed at a higher rate of 20%.

However, concerns have been raised about the potential violation of current tribal gaming compacts. Representative Ken Luttrell stated that the governor did not involve the tribes in the planning phase and that the plan could infringe upon existing agreements. He called for negotiations between the governor, himself, Senator Coleman, and the tribes.

The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association expressed disappointment with the lack of consultation with tribes prior to the governor’s proposal. They emphasized the importance of meaningful government-to-government discussions and urged the governor to work with the Oklahoma Legislature to offer a compact supplement that protects the tribes’ substantial gaming exclusivity.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma also voiced their concerns, stating that the governor did not consult with them despite their years of leadership in operating gaming in the state. They believe that the plan does not serve the best interests of the people of Oklahoma or the tribal nations.

In response to these concerns, House Speaker Charles McCall intends to facilitate an interim study discussion with officials from the state’s largest tribes. This will provide an opportunity for the tribes to give their input on the governor’s sports betting plans.

Overall, while the governor’s proposal aims to bring sports betting to Oklahoma, there are significant challenges to overcome to ensure that it is implemented in a manner that respects the interests of tribal nations and follows established laws and processes.