As Oklahoma takes another step forward in its journey to legalized sports betting, it seems the newest move puts Governor Kevin Stitt and the state’s Attorney General, Mike Hunter at odds.
While the Governor is anxious to approve sports betting in Oklahoma for at least two different tribal casino operators, the Attorney General argues it’s illegal. The AG has even gone so far as to release an official statement arguing that sports betting is illegal.
Attorney General Is Not On-Board
Not only does the Governor and the Attorney General seem to be on two totally different pages when it comes to the tribal casinos, it seems like each one is quite set in their ways. Attorney General Mike Hunter released the following statement making clear his stance on the issue:
“The agreements signed today between the governor, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and the Comanche Nation are not authorized by the state Tribal Gaming Act, Title 3A, Section 261 et. sec. The governor has the authority to negotiate compacts with the tribes on behalf of the state. However, only gaming activities authorized by the act may be the subject of a tribal gaming compact. Sports betting is not a prescribed ‘covered game’ under the act.”
And as firm as Hunter is, Stitt seems as equally unwavering in his position, which is what has now caused the stalemate situation that could get worse.
As for legalized sports betting operated by the tribes, without a state law, only New Mexico allows it under state law.
Gaming Tribes and Governor Not Always on the Same Page
It’s more than just the Attorney General with whom the Governor has disagreed with, as it seems he hasn’t always been on the same page as the tribes in the state either. In fact they have been on opposite sides of the argument since last year.
When Stitt asked for the compacts to go through a renegotiation period early this year, it came as a surprise to the tribes who were under the assumption that the compacts would automatically renew.
Right there tension was formed as the Chocktaw, Chickasaw, and Cherokee nations all filed federal lawsuits.
The lawsuit ended up bringing in other tribes later on who also decided to take part. Today, there are still 10 tribes who are listed as part of the lawsuit against the state.
What the Casinos Would Have to Offer
In terms of what the Otoe-Missouria and Comanche casinos would be able to offer patrons, the possibilities would be quite broad. The sports betting market would be vast to say the least, and there would be an opportunity down the road to place bets outside of the casinos.
Betting would be allowed on pretty much every sporting event, which would include esports betting. The only thing not included is collegiate events and in-state college events taking place within the state of Oklahoma.
The compacts have gone on to say that they would be open to licensing up to five non-tribal sports betting location down the road. This could include horse racing tracks.