Rep. Luttrell’s HB1027 has passed through the House in Oklahoma by a resounding score of 66 to 26. The bill will now pass over to the Oklahoma Senate. It may be of interest to note that hte bill passed with its title off, suggesting it may require additional changes and could still return to the house.

Once the bill has undergone full amendments, it would require full approval from both the House and Senate before ultimately being signed off by the Oklahoma Governor. Governor Kevin Stitt has suggested this year that supports Oklahoma ‘provided that it’s fair, transparent and the state can maximize revenue potential to invest in top priorities, like education’.

Last year, Luttrell had a very similar bill make it to a similar stage before it died. One of the changes made is in the proposed fiscal measures. Luttrell had previously proposed a 10 percent flat fee on adjusted gross revenue, but it is now

The particulars of the Oklahoma sports betting elements of the legislation would allow tribal casinos or racetracks to agree to a supplement to their existing compacts. The agreement would require tribal operators to pay according to the following scale:

  • 4% of gross gaming revenue on the first $5 million of annual revenue
  • 5% on the next $5 million of annual revenue
  • 6% of revenue above that initial $10 million

The text states that 88% would be allocated to the Education Reform Revolving Fund, with 12% taxes to the general revenue fund.

The Oklahoma sports betting and gambling landscape is fairly different from most in the United States. There are two commercial properties in the form of Racinos, with a staggering 136 tribal casinos, the most of any state in the United States. Second to Oklahoma is California, who saw a similar proposition to allow tribes to offer CA sports betting shot down at the ballot in November. Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 were both heavily defeated, with 2024 now the earliest opportunity for legislature to be filed to restart the process of sports betting legalization.

The AGA reported in 2021 the two Oklahoma Racinos took just over $145 million. To contrast this, Oklahoma tribal casinos generated $2.74 billion in casino gaming revenue, exclusive of revenue from electronic bingo devices.

Oklahoma borders no fewer than five states, but it is perhaps the lack of legalization that poses the biggest threat to the tribal gaming revenues and commercial revenue alike. Texas has no commercial or tribal casino properties, and there is current legislation in place which may open the doors to legal Texas online gaming and TX sports betting. Currently, a lot of Texans who wish to gamble simply hop across the border to OK.

Should Texas proceed with legalization, it may spur legislative change in Oklahoma too. There’s not been a lot of discussion around OK online gaming but if the Lone Star state leads the way, Oklahoma may well just follow.