Published: October 7, 2023

Oklahoma sports gambling legislation lacking momentum

The sports gambling and collegiate athletics world changed in May 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (1992), making gambling legal at the federal level.

PAPSA granted an exemption to Nevada, but its overruling meant other states could begin passing legislation to make sports betting legal. Since, 38 of 50 states and Washington D.C. legalized sports gambling at some level.

Not Oklahoma.

Rep. Ken Luttrell introduced a sports betting bill, House Bill 1027, but it failed to advance in the Senate in April and did not receive a hearing. Matt Morgan, Chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, said there hasn’t been much interest from legislative leadership to make sports gambling happen.

"I think, in layman's terms, we just haven't seen the momentum on behalf of the state to say it's something they'd like to get done,” Morgan said. "From the tribal perspective, I think a lot of operators, and of course a lot of our customers, are interested in having sports betting.”

The Oklahoma legislature returns to session in February, and HB1027 is alive and could be taken up at that time.

Oklahoma tribes hold an exclusive gaming compact, meaning the tribes would be the ones offering sports gambling. Tribes give the state a 4% share of revenue that rises to 6% if revenue exceeds $20 million under the current compact.

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