Oklahoma City is far and away the biggest metropolitan area in the Sooner State, and with a combined statistical population of nearly a million people, it would be a fairly large big city by any standard, much less in the heart of the American Heartland. While sports are practically a way of life here in the Midwest, one thing you will not be able to find no matter how hard you look are any Oklahoma City sportsbooks. There are no laws on the books right now in the state of Oklahoma that would allow sportsbooks to operate legally, but the state’s extensive gaming exclusivity contracts with Oklahoma’s many various Native American tribal groups presents an interesting opportunity for legally expanding gambling. That is especially now that the US Supreme Court has, as of May of 2018, decided to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which had been used to prevent states like Oklahoma and 46 others from passing laws to legalize and regulate sports betting if they saw fit.
One of the unintended consequences of PASPA that its proponents – perhaps disingenuously unaware of the many benefits in terms of the boost provided by sports betting to local economies and state finances in the form of increased tax revenues – is that the much-maligned law gave rise to legal offshore sportsbooks in Oklahoma City and elsewhere around the country.
These sites – of which the leading operators in the segment are without a doubt Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and 5Dimes – can all be legally accessed by those looking for options enabling sports betting for Oklahoma residents because of the state’s lack of legal language explicitly prohibiting people from placing wagers online. What that means in practical terms is that you, our dedicated readers on the lookout for ways to get in on the action when the Thunder or the Sooners are playing their next games, can bet to your hearts content at 100 percent legal online sportsbooks based overseas while you wait on the state legislature in OKC to approve a law to allow Oklahoma City sportsbooks to set up shop.
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Is Sports Betting Currently Legal In Oklahoma City?
This is probably the most important question to ask when you begin discussing Oklahoma City sportsbooks. The short but sweet answer to this question is yes, sports betting is legal in Oklahoma City. Does that mean you will find a sportsbook here? Right now, you will not be able to do so. Why is that? That is because Oklahoma has yet to legalize and regulate sports betting. This is because PASPA used to exist. PASPA prevented the states from choosing for themselves if they wanted to legalize sports betting. The federal law did not outlaw sports betting, which is why Nevada was able to take sports bets.
But all of that has changed. In mid-2018, the Supreme Court ruled that PASPA was unconstitutional and overturned it. Now states are free to decide for themselves whether or not they want to legalize sports betting. What about Oklahoma? Unfortunately, the Sooner State has fallen behind the rest of the country. There were attempts in the past to legalize sports betting, but it seems like all of those efforts failed. Sportsbooks are still not allowed to operate in Oklahoma City right now.
But like we said, sports betting is still legal in Oklahoma City. This is because there are other options available. Online offshore sportsbooks are allowed to take bets from people who are in Oklahoma City. Sites like Bovada, 5Dimes, BetDSI, SportsBetting, and BetOnline are sportsbooks that are based outside of the United States. They operate legally in their respective countries and they can take bets from people in Oklahoma City. There are no laws that prevent people in Oklahoma City from placing their sports bets on these online offshore sportsbooks. That is why sports betting in Oklahoma City is legal.
Legal Minimum Age To Bet At Sportsbooks In Oklahoma City
Even though we are here to tell you about the best sportsbooks in Oklahoma City, we do freely admit that there are no sports betting outlets in the city that are currently open for business. Even so, we can make a fairly accurate prediction as to what the legal minimum age to bet at sportsbooks in Oklahoma City will be or would be, provided that the laws governing such activities can be changed by the state’s lawmakers at an upcoming legislative session – an eventually that seems increasingly likely in the comparatively near term. Generally speaking, we tend to think that the minimum age that players would need to attain before they could legally place wagers on their favorite sports, athletes and sporting events would be 21 or older.
The longstanding “21 and up” rule is practically the nationwide standard metric for the legal minimum gambling age in almost every state (except for Rhode Island, oddly enough), so the precedent at least exists that there could be some variance on this subject. However, our extensive research on this subject – and, of course, a good bit of common sense – tells us that the Sooner State, being a deeply conservative Midwestern bastion, would probably lean toward 21 as the minimum betting age if it ever legalized sportsbooks in Oklahoma City and elsewhere in the state.
All that being said, if you absolutely cannot wait any longer to see what direction the state of Oklahoma will take vis a vis sports betting legalization, you can always place wagers on sports at offshore sportsbook sites such as Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and 5Dimes. All of those industry-leading legal overseas operations will accept players from the ages of 18 and up, which is in accordance with the somewhat more lax gambling laws in their home countries in Europe and the Caribbean region.
Best Oklahoma City Sportsbooks
We here at SportsBettingOklahoma.com are not exactly sure how much more clear we can be on this point: as it stands now, all the best Oklahoma City sportsbooks (or the ones that can legally function in that capacity anyway) are based in foreign countries overseas and can be found exclusively online. Our most frequently recommended and most trusted picks among all the various operators in this booming segment of the broader online gambling marketplace are without a doubt Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and 5Dimes. These sites can be legally accessed anywhere in the Sooner State, and that is true whether you use your computer at home or your mobile device (Apple and Android operating systems are both supported), as all our top picks in the online sportsbooks industry have free sport wagering apps you can download.
With that caveat out of the way, we would be remiss if we did not mention a few of the top locations that would ideally one day become the top sportsbooks in Oklahoma City, an area that is teeming with some truly magnificent and popular casino properties. These casinos (the few we have selected to profile) are all located within an easy drive of downtown Oklahoma City, even if none of them are actually located inside the city limits as such. Even so, their combination of attributes looked for among top tier gambling establishments and vacation destinations allow them to make a convincing case for themselves as the sites of future OKC sportsbooks and also for why sports betting legalization should be strongly considered in the Sooner State more generally.
First up in our review of the top prospective sportsbooks in Oklahoma City and the surrounding locales is the Riverwind Casino, the biggest and arguably the best casino and hotel destination in central Oklahoma (and probably one of the top tribal casinos in the country, not to put too fine a point on it). The Riverwind Casino certainly has all the elements needed to stand up there with the national leaders as a fine gambling establishment, as attested to by its sprawling gaming floor plan totaling out at some 219,000 square feet or more and its literally thousands of gaming stations of all types. Of special note is that the Riverwind Casino includes slot machines and live card and table game stations with a popular poker room (which attracts players in high stakes weekly tournaments) and even a pari-mutuel off-track betting lounge.
The restaurant selection is lacking a fine dining option, but nobody can say that there is a lack of choices when it comes to different flavors to try, and none of the restaurants on offer are going to break the bank either, which only leaves you with more money on your hands to put down on a hand of cards or on your favorite horse to win the next big graded stakes race. With this much going on gambling-wise, it should be easy for you to see why we think Riverwind Casino could easily become one of Oklahoma City’s best sportsbooks too.
With a gaming floor that spans nearly 130,000 square feet after a recent renovation and more than 2,000 gaming stations featuring all the classic standard amusements and the latest video gambling options as well, the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in nearby Shawnee has what it takes to pull in a huge crowd from neighboring OKC. In fact, this luxurious combination hotel and resort casino property, with its PGA Tour-caliber Fire Lake Golf Course and a wide variety of eateries (including the especially excellent Flame Brazilian Steakhouse) have more to offer than just gambling, though plenty of that goes on at this Oklahoma City area casino.
The Grand Casino Hotel & Resort also boasts one of the largest concert venues in the entire state of Oklahoma, which only further adds to its appeal not just as a gaming center but as a bona fide destination for the entire family and even those not interested in gambling at all. If the Oklahoma legislature can successfully pass sports betting legalization through in an upcoming session, we think that the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort is poised to really take off as one of the best new sportsbooks in Oklahoma City, while at the same time continuing to dominate in the local market for entertainment and dining as well.
The Newcastle Casino, which is not coincidentally located about 20 miles from downtown OKC in Newcastle, Oklahoma, only seems a little bit smaller than some of its competitors. While there is no getting around the fact that it does indeed feature a smaller gaming floor of 112,000 square feet, it makes up for this comparative disadvantage in terms of sheer size by offering no fewer than 3,000 gaming machines – video poker, slots, roulette, craps, and many more casino classics are all represented in cutting edge style. A large indoor entertainment venue with live shows and musical acts taking to the state every Saturday draws crowds as much as it does headlining artists from around the country and the state of Oklahoma, famous for its country music sensations as much as for sports teams like the OKC Thunder and the Oklahoma University Sooners collegiate football program.
In fact, it is that combination of gambling options, entertainment possibilities and die-hard sports fans being located right down the road from some hugely important teams that make the Newcastle Casino a compelling choice for anyone pondering questions about the future legality of sports betting for Oklahoma residents. Personally, it’s our take that this casino could just about become one of the hottest sportsbooks in Oklahoma City overnight if given half a chance.