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Oklahoma lawmakers eye legal sports betting at tribal casinos

TAGs: Oklahoma, PASPA, US supreme court

Oklahoma has officially joined the mad dash to pass a sports betting bill in case the U.S. Supreme Court (SC) decides to strike down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

Oklahoma lawmakers eye legal sports betting at tribal casinoTulsa World reported that the Oklahoma House of Representatives Appropriations and Budget Committee has approved House Bill 3375, which seeks to legalize sports betting at roughly 70 tribal casinos across the state.

Members of the committee voted 17-8 to send the bill before the full House.

Sponsored by Rep. Kevin Wallace, the bill would change the tribal-state compact to allow these gambling facilities to offer wagering “on the outcome of sporting events or other events, other than horse or other animal races.”

HB 3375 also aims to expand gambling in tribal casinos by including craps and roulette games.

Tribes may elect to begin offering non-house banked table games and sports pools by submitting a written supplement to an existing gaming compact with the state, according to the proposed measure.

The state would get 10 percent of the games’ proceeds. A study conducted by Oklahoma House staff forecast that the bill would bring around $28 million annually to the state coffers.

HB 3375, however, failed to mention how sports betting will be conducted on tribal casino premises. It also didn’t include the punitive ‘integrity fee’ that professional sports leagues are lobbying for.

When asked by Rep. Todd Russ on whether he thinks gambling is good for the people of Oklahoma, Wallace said that “nothing in this bill deals with whether it is good or bad.”

Later this year, the Supreme Court will hand down its decision on whether to overturn PASPA, which limits single-game sports betting to the state of Nevada.

Analysts from gambling research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming predicted that Oklahoma would be one of 18 states to introduce sports betting bills this year ahead of the SC ruling. However, analysts don’t see Oklahoma as one of the 11 states with a good chance of legalizing sports betting.

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