Anyone waiting for Oklahoma sports betting just got a ray hope last week. A bill to bring the activity passed from a House Committee recently, and aims to legalize wagers on sporting events at state tribal casinos.
This proposed legislation, House Bill 3008, stops short of regulating mobile betting. All transactions would be required to take place in person at a casino. The Bill was proposed by Representative Ken Luttrell, a Republican, who believes Oklahoma sports betting would be good economically for both the state and tribal gaming. The legislation sets aside 10% of net win for the state.
Supported of House Bill 3008 point out that residents of the state are already spending money on sports betting even though it’s not legal. Representative Luttrell added that Oklahoma residents “…are sending millions of their dollars down to the Caribbean in online sports betting… The state is making no income from that.”
Despite his arguments, however, most agree that Oklahoma sports betting is a long shot right now. There is tension between the Governor and the tribes, and those opposed to the bill are asking that negotiations take place between the parties before there is any discussion of expanded gambling in the state.
Meanwhile in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker is nearing then end of his second term, and getting sports betting seems to be on his radar. In fact, he recently stated that he would be “happy” to sign a bill regulating sports bets in Massachusetts if one were sent to his desk.
“There are many things that would make me happy before I leave office… if I have the chance to sign them,” he said, adding that “One of them would certainly be a sports betting bill.” Currently there are 33 states with legalized sports wagering. And it may not be likely this year, but certainly Massachusetts and Oklahoma sports betting will pass at some point.