Oklahoma is one of the states that still hasn’t legalized sports betting in Oklahoma, but they’re one of the states that are most obviously suited to it. The online kind, sure, but most especially in-person sports betting.
The reasons for this are simple. Along with the massive amounts of taxes it will bring in for the state’s government, it would especially be a boon for the state’s 100+ tribal-owned casinos.
These casinos already bring in billions of dollars from their “class 3” gaming – games that are exempt from the state’s gambling laws and includes, most famously, various forms of bingo as a star attraction – but allowing people to place bets on various sporting events through these casinos would bring in even more.
Legal sports betting will also curb illegal sports betting, which unsurprisingly is still very much a thing in Oklahoma. Making something illegal doesn’t stop that thing from happening, it just drives it underground. By legalizing sports betting in Oklahoma, it will allow the state to better govern and regulate it.
This means that along with being able to collect taxes from bookmakers, the state government will be better able to regulate what goes on with the sports betting in Oklahoma. It can ensure that minors are not gambling, that bookies aren’t ripping off customers and that the whole thing is well and truly above board.
How Likely Is It to Happen
So, with all these advantages to legal sports betting in Oklahoma, what are the chances of it happening any time soon?
It’s hard to say, honestly, because there are several different things that need to happen and various parties who need to agree. This despite sports betting being legal in most of the United States these days, including Oklahoma’s neighbor, Arkansas – a state with which it shares much in common, including a large native American population and various tribal casinos, as a result.
Bill 1027 has recently been introduced that would legalize sports betting in the state, and it has the backing of the state’s governor Kevin Stitt. Whether it will pass congress, though, is a whole other story, as the senator of the state, Greg Treat, doesn’t see it as being of major importance this year and has in the past spoken out against the legalization of sports betting in the state.
Still, just because it’s unclear how soon it will happen, doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. In fact, it’s really a matter of when, not so much if, as gambling of various forms has been legalized in more and more states across America. And for good reason.