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Oklahoma sports betting bill fails to the senate committee stage

Oklahoma this year will not be joining the list of states that have legalized online sports betting. House Bill 1027, proposed by Rep. Ken Luttrell R-Ponca to introduce mobile wagering and in-person betting in Oklahoma, has met its Waterloo at the Senate as it failed to secure approval at the Senate committee level before the deadline last week.

According to a KOCO5 report, the bill, initially introduced in February, steadily gained momentum and by March had cleared the House and was looking forward to approval from the Senate. However, legalising sports betting in Oklahoma is now on hold seeing as the bill could not pass the stage.

Rep. Luttrell sees the major reason behind the bill’s failure to be the lack of sufficient understanding between the tribes and the state government. As at the time of consideration, there was not yet a consensus between the 35 tribal nations which would then translate to more conversations with the state government.

Luttrell believes that legal sports betting can deliver significant economic benefits and restore the relationship between lawmakers and Tribal authorities.

“My colleagues saw the advantage, the economic advantage to this, the restoration of tribal-legislative relations. We feel that this is a win-win and something that the governor can get behind and something that Senator Coleman can work on getting the Senate behind also,” he said.

Despite receiving broad support from many Tribes in Oklahoma, the bill is currently on hold. However, legal sports betting is already available in neighboring states like New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Arkansas. Once sports betting is legalized in Oklahoma, money that would otherwise be spent on betting in other states will remain in Oklahoma.

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