Oklahoma Starts 2023 With Eyes Set On Sports Betting

On Dec. 29, ahead of the 2023 legislative session, Rep. Ken Luttrell pre-filed a bill that would allow Oklahoma tribes to amend their gaming compacts to include online and retail sports betting in the state.

The bill – HB 1027 – is set to have its first reading on Feb. 6.

About HB 1027

The biggest roadblocks in sports betting legalization in Oklahoma has been the state’s tribal communities, whose gaming compacts don’t currently allow for sports betting. To get sports betting legalized, amendments to these gaming compacts need to be made.

Because sports betting operations would happen on tribal lands, Luttrell proposed an interesting way that the state would still benefit financially – he dubbed the fee system a “sliding scale.” The sliding scale would essentially require higher fees for higher revenues over a period of time. The system is as follows (per HB 1027):

  • 4% of the first $5 million of monthly net win received by a tribe in a calendar year to be paid to the Treasurer of the State of Oklahoma.
  • 5% of the next $5 million of adjusted gross revenues received by a tribe in a calendar year to be paid to the Treasurer of the State of Oklahoma.
  • 6% of all subsequent adjusted gross revenues received by a tribe in a calendar year to be paid to the Treasurer of the State of Oklahoma.

These fees are to be paid monthly. Per the legislation, the fees will be paid on the 20th day of the month for revenues received by the tribe in the preceding month.

“Those are figures that I worked out with visiting with tribal leaders and gaming experts that we felt were fair, that I feel like Governor Stitt will understand that that’s fair to the tribes and fair to the citizens of the state of Oklahoma,” said Luttrell when he introduced the bill.

Second Time’s A Charm?

HB 1027 is actually the second bill that Luttrell has introduced to amend gaming compacts and legalize sports betting in the state. Last legislative session, he made a similar proposal – the main difference being the fee system, which in the previous bill was a monthly fee of 10% of adjusted gross revenues to be paid by the tribes to the state.

The previous bill – HB 3008 – gained momentum, though it ultimately never received a vote on the House floor, and thus failed.

“There are 30 states, and the District of Columbia, that have legal sports betting and nine more states that are considering it this year,” said Lutrell. “With our gaming experience, Oklahoma should have been the leader in this. We have missed that tax revenue for these years.”

Governor Support

This time around seems more plausible to get something passed as Luttrell seems to have support from Gov. Kevin Stitt. “We’ve been behind the scenes looking into how we can do that in Oklahoma,” Stitt said in an interview with Fox 23 News on Dec. 28. “We just need to make sure we do it the right way and responsibly. We need to make sure we have audit capabilities, and we get a fair deal for Oklahoma. It’s something I’d love to see us work on.”

Luttrell acknowledged the support during his proposal. “I’ve been extremely pleased and excited with some of the comments from the Governor’s office about sitting down and having some meaningful dialog and open conversations with the tribes concerning the impacts, concerning gaming.”

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. She specifically enjoys analysis of the NFL.

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