Oklahoma Senate Chamber

  • OK HB 1027 passed the House floor by a vote of 66-26.
  • Ken Luttrell has estimated that legalization would net the state $9 million.
  • Governor Kevin Stitt has expressed his support for sports betting legalization.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Ok.House Bill 1027 in Oklahoma passed by a vote of 66-26 on Tuesday, breeding confidence for the future of the legalization movement. The bill is now slated to be sent to the Senate for deliberation and voting.

The bill has made much headway since first being passed through committee earlier this month. With the support of the governor as well as already being halfway there, sports betting legalization in Oklahoma is becoming more likely with every passing day.

What to Know About HB1027

HB1027 is a sports betting legalization bill that allows Native American tribes across Oklahoma to create sports betting deals either as standalone casinos/sportsbooks within the tribe itself or notably partnering with well-known operators.

The option of mobile betting is also written into the bill, but gives tribes final say on where it would be available such as exclusively within tribal lands.

Rep. Ken Luttrell and Sen. Bill Coleman were the primary authors of OK HB 1027 and stated that a small fee based on the revenue made for each tribe’s gaming compact would be paid to the state. $9 million per year is the estimated amount of revenue that Oklahoma sports betting will rake in.

From that $9 million, 88% of it will go to the Education Revolving Fund while the remaining 12% will go to a General Revenue Fund. The added revenue will be invaluable for additional education grants and other programs that can directly help students pay for higher education.

An especially confidence-boosting development has been the outspoken support by Governor Kevin Stitt, which he shared on twitter earlier in the year.

Something important to note is that the bill was passed through the house without a title on it, signaling that it may be incomplete and will require the house to expand on what the bill aims to accomplish before the Senate can go ahead and vote on passing it to the governor’s desk.

However, the tribes themselves have expressed their concerns for the bill, mostly due to the compulsory renegotiation of revenue share. They also cited that Oklahoma will be receiving revenue, but hold no risk in terms of actually operating the casino or sportsbook.

Doubt And Concerns

The Oklahoma tribes do support the general notion of Oklahoma sports betting legalization, but concerns over the revenue share may further stall attempts to push the bill through if tribal leaders refuse to sign gaming compacts.

While the bill has speedily made it through the House, the Senate casts more doubt on the prospect of legalization. While not writing it off, current Senate President Greg Treat has said they will be approaching the bill in a “methodical manner”, likely meaning that there is much more deliberation to be had before any huge developments for the bill occur.

Despite the future of the bill being in limbo as a result of Senate deliberation and negotiation with tribes, there is a clear effort happening to expand the current scope of sports betting and legalize sports betting at-large.

Thus, with OK HB 1027 already making its way through the House, confidence is steadily growing that the Senate will follow and with Governor Stitt previously voicing support, Oklahoma may be the next state to follow with legal sports betting for all eligible citizens in person.

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