Looking back in late April of this year, the state of Oklahoma had a bit of a toss-up on their decision on sports betting. It had appeared to teeter-totter back and forth on the issue without a clear signal on which direction to go.
However, just recently, tribal Oklahoma sports betting took on an incredible boost from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) appears to have approved gaming compacts between the state itself and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and Comanche Nation. The move was voted upon a 45-day turnaround.
What This Means Now
This agreement allows all betting except for any colleges or in-state college team events. The compacts specifically point to two retail locations for each tribe at their respective tribal casinos.
Mobile betting is also allowed as long as it is to the confines to the property. More information on the mobile side of things will be available once the details are finalized.
The compacts could also, in the future, allow for up to 5 more retail non-tribal Oklahoma sports betting locations. This adds more fuel to the flame in hopes of getting things going in the right direction.
However, there is a slight catch. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, on the same day that Governor Kevin Stitt approved of the compacts, quickly made comments on the whole situation. He disagrees with Stitt’s actions and ultimately has the final say in the sports betting part of this.
Stitt ultimately does not have the full power to approve sports betting, as noted in this reference: https://www.oscn.net/dockets/GetCaseInformation.aspx?db=appellate&number=O-118829&cmid=128276
A Future For Oklahoma Sports Betting?
These tribal casinos have made a move now to allow for these types of sports betting actions. It is unclear as to what is next for the state of Oklahoma and how they are going to react to it all.
Technically, sports betting is still not legal. The compacts need to be published within the Federal Register, as Stitt mentioned in his announcement. So, the two tribes will be able to, at some point, offer sports betting within their casinos.
Time is on their side, as there is not any deadline or cutoff for this decision to be put in place. However, it is going to take some convincing for Hunter to be on board for all of this.
You could almost bet that the state wants to look at how the tribal casinos operate with these newer compacts. In turn, if the results turn out positive, they could almost certainly emulate their success and provide the state with another source of revenue to use.
Sports betting has proved to be a great solution to each state that approves it, whether it improves their financial situation or helps out other causes. There are some stipulations that come with it.
Some people, such as Attorney General Mike Hunter, do not approve of these actions. Most situations like these take time for everyone to get on the same page. A lot of times, too, it just needs the right people promoting the right causes.
There is no definite timetable for this to get done for the state. No one is certain of when the next step will come either, as this issue is not being pushed as much compared to other issues presented in the state.
However, if it can make its way forward, we can see this getting done sooner than expected. Look for this to start rolling by the beginning of 2021 if no other issues are present.