Sen. Bill Coleman announced Wednesday that he will be signing on as the Senate author of fellow Ponca City Republican Rep. Ken Luttrell’s House Bill 1027 to legalize sports betting in Oklahoma. An avid sports enthusiast, Coleman said the change would be an economic boon for the state and he hopes the Legislature seizes the opportunity before it’s too late.
“Oklahomans love their sports – we have the lottery, three horse tracks, and the most tribal casinos of any state. Sports betting through our tribal partners would simply provide another opportunity for our state’s sports fanatics to have some fun while creating thousands of new jobs and millions in revenue to further boost our economy,” Coleman said. “With the popularity of sports betting exploding around the nation, I hope our legislative colleagues realize the tremendous fiscal impact this will have on our state and approve sports betting this session.”
HB 1027 would create a new compact that tribes could decide whether to enter into, allowing both mobile and in-person sports betting in the state. A tribe that agreed to the compact would give 4% of the first $5 million in sports betting annual gross revenue to the state, 5% of the following $5 million of adjusted gross revenue, and finally 6% of all future adjusted gross revenue. Any agreement would need to be submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior for approval.
Thirty-five of Oklahoma’s 38 federally recognized tribes have signed gaming compacts with the state, and there are 143 tribal casinos and gaming centers statewide that could possibly offer sports betting. Currently, sports betting is already legal in 36 other states, including Kansas where Coleman lives near.
“I recently drove over an hour to Kansas to place some sports bets and there were numerous other Oklahoma tags in the parking lot,” Coleman said. “It’s estimated that approving sports betting could generate $240 million in revenue and create more than 3,000 jobs. We’re missing a huge opportunity.”