Oklahoma’s Progress Toward Legalizing Sports Betting Persists

Oklahoma, a state with a population of nearly 4 million, is one of several states currently working to legalize sports betting. While the Super Bowl just ended, residents of the state will have to wait until next year’s big game to place their first legal wagers. Nevertheless, lawmakers are continuing their efforts to make sports betting legal.

In November, State Gov. Kevin Stitt unveiled a new plan to legalize sports betting in the state. The plan proposed a 20% tax rate for mobile sports betting, with operators required to pay an initial fee of $500,000 and an annual fee of $100,000. Retail betting would be subject to a 15% tax and would be offered by the state’s federally recognized Tribes. However, the plan faced criticism from the Tribes because it did not grant them exclusive rights to mobile betting.

Additionally, a new bill, Senate Bill 1434 (SB 1434), was introduced by Sen. Casey Murdock to amend the Oklahoma Education Lottery Act to allow for legal sports wagering. The bill is currently undergoing readings and committee referrals.

Oklahoma borders six states, and neighboring states such as Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico already offer sports betting. This has led to concerns from supporters of legalization that bettors may simply cross state borders to place their wagers.

In addition to Missouri, other states such as Hawaii and Georgia are also working towards legalizing sports betting, according to the American Gaming Association. The efforts to legalize sports betting in Oklahoma and other states indicate a growing trend towards acceptance of this activity.