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Sports betting bill gets approval from Oklahoma subcommittee

bill that would allow sports betting in Oklahoma casinos has been given a “do pass” recommendation by the House Appropriations and Budget General Government Subcommittee.

The bill would only sports betting in the state’s 131 casinos but not online, said Rep. Ken Luttrell, R-Ponca City. A group of casinos in Mississippi were the first to allow sports betting after the U.S. Supreme Court removed the ban in 2018 and they are doing well, he said.

“Their state revenue right now is a million dollars a month. Their betting is $83 million a month in their 23 casinos,” Luttrell said at Monday’s committee meeting. “When you do the math, looking at Oklahoma with 131 casinos that would be eligible to participate in this, the projected income for the state of Oklahoma is substantial. The projected income for those tribes is substantial plus the jobs it would create.”

The 35 tribes that operate the more than 130 gaming facilities in the state have not reached unanimous position on the bill, according to Matthew Morgan, chair of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association.

“Almost all of the association is very interested in sports betting,” Morgan told The Center Square. “But we do have some folks that are very interested in the mobile aspect of sports betting, which Rep. Luttrell’s bill does not capture. And we also have some concerns from our members on what fee split would look like given the low margin of sports betting. I think they would like to see that reworked in a way that would make them more likely to support something in that way.”

The bill would require the tribes to pay the state 10% of the monthly “new wins,” which includes “all money wagered less prizes paid out and less applicable federal taxes.”

The state controls that decision, Morgan said.

“It’s like getting invited to someone’s house for a meal,” Morgan said. “It’s clearly the Oklahoma Legislature’s house. They’re the ones that are going to decide what meal is going to be served. It would be nice if they reached out to see if we had any specific requests for what that meal may look like and what day and what time but ultimately it’s their event.”

Sports betting became legal in the U.S. in 2018 after the Supreme Court removed a ban that prohibited it in all states except Nevada. Thirty states have legalized sports betting, including three states that border Oklahoma.

An Arkansas legislative committee has cleared the way for mobile sports betting, which will be in effect March 4, according to Scott Hardin of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Missouri lawmakers are also considering a bill that would legalize sports betting there.

This article was originally posted on Sports betting bill gets approval from Oklahoma subcommittee

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