The federal government on Monday approved new gaming compacts that could bring sports betting to Oklahoma.
Gov. Kevin Stitt signed agreements with the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe that would let them offer sports better. But, people wanting to place bets might not be able to do so immediately.
“I’m really thinking within a year,” Comanche Nation Chairman William Nelson said. “I would hope. I would really hope.”
Nelson told KOCO 5 that even though the Comanche Nation has a compact with the state, it still plans to wait until lawmakers approve sports betting, which wouldn’t happen until next year’s session.
“When it comes to sports betting, we want to be that neighbor to the state,” Nelson said. “If it’s illegal in the state, you know, we’ll wait for legality. We surely will. If it comes to fruition, that’s great. If it doesn’t, that’s great.”
On Monday, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt approved the two compacts that include sports betting by technically not deciding either way on them. That could leave decisions on whether the compacts are legal up to the courts.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter blasted the secretary’s decision. He and top state Republicans have argued the compacts aren’t legal because Stitt can’t offer sports betting.
The governor and the two tribal leaders have both maintained the compacts are legal.