Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Sports Betting Bill

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Following the news that the House of Representatives in the state of Oklahoma have approved the sports betting bill, it subsequently means that tribes will be able to offer sports betting at their gambling venues.

This is somewhat of a landmark, as it means that it would be for the first time in the state’s history that this has been allowed.

House Bill 1027 will provide tribes with the license to negotiate with the state that would provide allowances for them to offer both retail and online sports betting at their venues. As such, the bill was passed by a vote of 66-26.

Second Time Lucky for Oklahoma

Having previously failed to have the bill passed, it seems that the timing was right this time around, with State Rep. Ken Luttrell, who devised the bill believing that there is now enough infrastructure in place and a model to follow from neighboring states who have passed sports betting into law.

There are also significant economic benefits for the public sector of the state, with this bill being passed as well, as public schools would be set to receive 88 percent of the revenue that is generated from sports betting.

In addition to this, it means that the state would get four percent of the initial $5 million that is generated, plus a further five percent of the next $5 million and six ppercentthereafter of any revenue that surpasses this threshold.

Projected revenue figures for the state are particularly vague, though, with analysts predicting that this could be anywhere between $493,000 and $9.4 million per year. Regardless, it would be a welcome boost to the economy.

Is There Enough Demand for Sports Betting in Oklahoma?

Although the state is not especially known for its sports franchises, it does have a number of professional teams that reside in Oklahoma, which could justify the regulation of sports betting.

These include the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA side, which has a considerable following, however, as far as top-tier franchises (NBA/MLB/NHL/NFL/MLS) go, this is seemingly the limit.

There are other professional franchises that are not part of the top leagues, which could garner substantial sports betting interest, though collegiate teams may well generate most of the interest.

Of course, interest in major sports franchises that reside in other states could become the subject of most of the betting handles in Oklahoma, though this does present a curious projection.

Indeed, it will also be interesting to see how highly the major operators regard the state as a priority in terms of license applications moving forward, which would mean they need to be tethered to a land-based venue. Cautious optimism is likely to be taken into account over the next few months when weighing up just how successful the sports betting market may be in Oklahoma over the next couple of years.

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