Optimism in the Oklahoma air
Oklahoma has taken a positive step toward a legal sports betting market after the Oklahoma House of Representatives Appropriations and Budget Select Subcommittee passed House Bill 1027.
HB 1027 would legalize sports betting both online and at tribal casinos
Advanced by the House on Monday, HB 1027 would legalize sports betting both online and at tribal casinos. Sports betting writer Ryan Butler shared the news via Twitter, calling the bill’s movement “a small but important step”:
This time around, HB 1027 — which had House support from both Democrats and Republicans on Monday — has an influential lawmaker in its camp should the bill, as industry experts widely predict, proceed to the Senate.
If the House passes the bill, the Oklahoma Senate’s Assistant Majority Whip, State Sen. Bill Coleman (R-Ponca City) will be waiting to guide the legislation through the Senate.
High-profile sports fan
Coleman, an ex-radio broadcaster and keen sports fan, announced last week that he’d be the Senate author of HB 1027. He wasted no time wading right in, saying the state was missing a “huge opportunity” while estimating the legal market to be worth $240m in revenue.
Coleman added that along with a lottery and horse racing, Oklahoma was home to “the most tribal casinos of any state.” He said bringing the tribes in would create “thousands of new jobs and millions in revenue to further boost our economy.”
According to Fox23 on Monday, the bill allows tribes to offer both retail and mobile sports betting, the latter via partnerships with commercial sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel.
Oklahoma bettors hit the road
Currently, Oklahoma residents can only place sports bets by traveling to legal market states such as neighboring Kansas and Arkansas. Coleman said last week he drove over an hour to Kansas to place sports bets, where he said he noticed “numerous other Oklahoma tags in the parking lot.”
With Coleman pressuring his fellow lawmakers to realize the “tremendous fiscal impact” of sports betting and approve it “this session,” it bodes well for the bill’s eventual chances of going all the way to Governor Kevin Stitt’s desk. Stitt, who is in favor for legalizing sports betting, tweeted his support for the bill last month.