Oklahoma Sports Betting Proposal Fails to Clear Senate Committee

It was back in February when Rep. Ken Luttrell in Oklahoma filed House Bill 1027 (HB 1027), a proposal that sought to legalize sports betting. Besides in-person betting, the proposal called to legalize mobile wagering as well. In March, HB 1027 gained traction by clearing the House and headed for the Senate. Luttrell had high

It was back in February when Rep. Ken Luttrell in Oklahoma filed House Bill 1027 (HB 1027), a proposal that sought to legalize sports betting. Besides in-person betting, the proposal called to legalize mobile wagering as well. In March, HB 1027 gained traction by clearing the House and headed for the Senate.

Luttrell had high hopes that the proposal will gain further traction and legalize sports wagering, an activity that is expected to deliver economic stimulus and bring fresh tax revenue. While the Representative hoped for broad support within the Senate, it looks like the legalization of sports betting is on hold, at least for this year.

Last week marked the deadline for the approval of the Senate committee but the proposal failed to secure it, a report released by KOCO 5 reveals. This effectively pushed legal sports betting in limbo, at least until the next session starts, which is in February next year. Still, Luttrell did not give up on legal sports betting and said that he plans to give it another try within the next session.

According to Luttrell, lawmakers in the state realized the benefits legal sports betting can bring. Moreover, he hinted that the proposal can also help restore the relations between the legislators and Tribal authorities.

When asked why the bill was stuck in the Senate, Luttrell explained that more discussions with the Governor, the Tribes and the Senate were needed. Regardless, he acknowledged that the legalization of sports wagering represents a “win-win” and is definitely an activity that can receive the support of the Senate.

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.

State Rep. Ken Luttrell

Despite enjoying broad support from many of the Tribes in Oklahoma, the proposal is on hold for the moment. Although the state is still in the process of legalizing sports wagering, the activity is already available in multiple nearby states.

New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, as well as Arkansas all offer some form of legal betting and all of those states border Oklahoma. Once lawmakers in the state legalize the activity, money that is otherwise spent on betting in nearby states will remain in Oklahoma.

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