A new bill could be about to legalize in-person sports betting in the state of Oklahoma — something that may pave the way for further expansion of online gambling in the United States. Representative Ken Luttrell recently filed a bill that would enable Oklahoma’s Native American-owned and operated casinos to provide sports gambling services to their customers. In turn, the casinos would turn over 10% of profits to the state government in addition to all applicable state and federal taxes.
What Does This Mean for Online Providers?
If passed, the bill would see Oklahoma becoming the latest state to legalize sports betting since the Supreme Court deemed a federal ban on sports betting “unconstitutional” in 2018. Supporters of the bill say that this will provide much-needed additional revenue to the state of Oklahoma — on top of the revenue the state already receives from taxes on casinos — while also supporting Native American casinos within OK. As many of these casinos have experienced significant hardship as a result of Covid-19-related restrictions, the bill is seen as a welcome boost to operators in this sector.
Further Possible Changes to Regulations in the Future
However, these may not be the only results of the bill. Currently, domestic sports betting is not permitted under Oklahoma law, which means Oklahoma gambling providers are not allowed to advertise or offer sports betting services to customers within the state. Gambling customers are technically able to connect with sports betting provider websites from elsewhere in the United States or even abroad, but these providers are not regulated and the process is not supported by local authorities.
If the move to allow regulated casinos to provide in-person sports gambling proves to be successful, this may change the legal and regulatory perception of this form of betting in Oklahoma. In turn, this could leave the door open for other changes within the state that could see online sports gambling permitted in the state of Oklahoma and regulated like it is elsewhere in the United States.
No Guarantees for Online Sports Betting Providers or United States’ Gambling Customers
In this early stage, however, it is difficult to tell what the coming months and years will bring. The bill has not been passed yet, so there is no guarantee that any form of sports betting will be permitted, although the bill’s success looks likely due to substantial support. If the bill is passed, it is important to remember that the legislation is intended to help Native American-owned casinos during their post-Covid recovery. This means there may be significant opposition if the legal advantages are extended to casino competitors in the online market.
For the moment, domestic online betting providers seeking to move into Oklahoma and other areas of the United States will have to wait and see. Providers and customers alike will be eager to see whether or not the bill is passed, and will be keen to see the early reports from the first phase of sports betting roll-out in the state.