Oklahoma is the most important tribal gaming market within the US outdoors of California. However it will likely be with out sports activities betting for now.
A invoice that will have legalized sportsbooks at tribal casinos died within the Senate for “ethical causes” and a normal lack of curiosity, based on its sponsor within the Home, State Rep. Ken Luttrell (R-Ponca Metropolis).
Luttrell instructed The Norman Transcript that the invoice’s demise has nothing to do with Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt’s ongoing beef with a majority of Oklahoma’s quite a few tribal operators.
Stitt Technique Backfired
Stitt needs to squeeze extra revenue-share funds out of tribal casinos. In 2019, he claimed that the 2004 mannequin compact signed by the 35 tribes expired on January 1, 2020 and must be renegotiated.
The tribes argued the language within the compacts signifies they have been designed to mechanically roll over for an additional 15 years on that date.
The tribes pay 4 % to six% of their revenues from slots to the state and 10% on desk video games, which works out at round $150 million a yr. They argue that’s an excellent deal.
Stitt managed to barter new compacts with 4 tribes by dangling sports activities betting as a carrot on a stick. The technique was designed to interrupt the consensus within the tribal gaming business by exhibiting that some stakeholders have been joyful to renegotiate.
However the plan backfired when the Oklahoma Supreme Courtroom dominated Stitt had overstepped his authority by providing sports activities betting as a result of it had not been authorised by the legislature. The courtroom decided the governor was disrupting the steadiness between the manager and legislative branches of presidency.
However there’s no bitter grapes from Stitt, who supported this yr’s invoice, based on Luttrell.
No Urge for food
Matthew Morgan, chairman of Oklahoma Indian Gaming Affiliation, instructed The Norman Transcript that gaming enlargement was by no means more likely to cross throughout an election yr, comparable to this.
Playing payments have a a lot better probability of succeeding in non-election years when lawmakers are in search of new methods to generate income, he mentioned.
I don’t suppose anyone had the expectation that one thing was going to zoom by means of the Legislature and get completed, however it was an excellent place to begin to convey individuals to the desk and begin speaking about what which will appear like and to see the place individuals stood,” mentioned Morgan.
Luttrell agrees that his invoice will most likely have a greater shot subsequent yr and he plans to resurrect it. And if it nonetheless doesn’t cross, Oklahoma shall be “behind once more,” he added.