Oklahoma Governor pitches sports betting plan prior to legislative meeting

November 3, 2023
By

His proposal could generate 20% revenue for the state.

Oklahoma Governor, Kevin Stitt, has announced a plan to 'create a path' for statewide sports wagering, according to a local report in The Oklahoman. Experts claim the plan might not fall in line with the State’s gaming compact with local Tribes, the report said.

Stitt said that he wants the state to license operations for mobile sports wagering, which would result in a 20% revenue tax. The Governor also noted that he would 'support tribal casinos by adding sports betting in exchange for 15%.'

In a written statement, Stitt pointed out the potential for a steady stream of revenue by going this route.

He commented, "35 states have already legalized sports betting and it’ll be a great revenue stream for the state.”

During the past several months, Stitt and the Oklahoma Tribes have been at odds. The controversy began when the Governor failed to renegotiate the compacts in 2019, claiming voter-approved deals from 2004 had expired. The negotiation pushed for the state to gain larger shares of the Tribes’ gaming revenue.

This resulted in a legal battle, which started after several Tribes, including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Citizen Potawatomi and Choctaw Nations were sued in Washington’s federal District Court because of Stitt’s compacts with the Comanche Nation, the Otoe-Missouria, the Kialegee Tribal Town and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.

A federal judge later automatically renewed the compacts, siding with Tribal leadership. Stitt later hired private law firms in the suit, racking up close to $600,000 in legal fees.

The Oklahoma state legislature is scheduled to meet next week to review current Tribal compacts on the books, according to the local report. Lawmakers are set to discuss who can legally negotiate agreement with local Tribes during the session.

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