Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has presented proposals to legalize online and in-person sports betting in the US state.
Oklahoma is one of only 15 states that currently regulate sports betting. However, Stitt’s proposal could open the door for the state to open a legal market.
Plans are still in their early stages, but Stitt laid out how the Oklahoma market could work.
Retail betting would be limited to federally recognized Indian tribes, consistent with a state-tribal gaming agreement. Stitt said personal betting income would be taxed at a rate of 15%.
As for mobile betting, Oklahoma would issue licenses to operators to offer this form of betting to players. Licenses would initially cost $500,000 (£409,795/470,463 euros), plus an annual renewal fee of $100,000.
Cellular license holders would be able to accept sports bets from anywhere in the state of Oklahoma. They would also be subject to a higher tax rate than retail businesses, which would be set at 20% of turnover.
“I promised Oklahomans that if we did sports betting, we would do it right — and this plan does just that,” Stitt said. “About 35 states have already legalized sports betting and it will be a great source of revenue for the state.
“Tribes can add it to their existing infrastructure and Oklahomans can access it right from their phone.”
Stitt wants to protect college sports in Oklahoma
The broader proposal includes plans for banned betting. Many of these relate to betting on college sports in Oklahoma.
Betting on the individual performance of student-athletes, coaches or referees would not be permitted. Consumers also cannot place side bets on college competitions.
Stitt says he is actively seeking input from the National Collegiate Athletic Association and athletic conferences before finalizing those plans.
Additionally, the original proposal states that bettors will not be allowed to bet on player injuries.
Legal Betting in Oklahoma – Sooner Rather Than Later?
Stitt’s proposal comes after a bill earlier this year suggested Oklahoma could legalize sports betting.
House Bill 1027 was introduced in the House in February with the goal of allowing tribes to add legal sports betting to their existing gaming agreements. This is similar to Stitt’s new plans.
The house passed the bill in mid-March, then it went to the Senate. However, the bill made no further progress and has been stalled since the end of May.
Currently, a total of 35 tribes in Oklahoma offer some form of gambling.