Oklahoma Governor Unexpectedly Reveals Plans to Legalize Sports Betting

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
Mobile Betting


  • Stitt’s plan calls for the tribes to run retail sports betting at local facilities.
  • Retail and online sports betting would be taxed at 15% and 20% rates, respectively.
  • Stitt did not consult lawmakers or gaming groups before making his announcement.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced last Thursday his intent to push for sports betting legislation during the 2024 legislative session.

During his announcement, Stitt rolled out a plan that would bring retail sports betting to facilities operated by local tribes. It would also allow Oklahomans to participate in mobile sports betting with commercial sportsbooks licensed and regulated by the state.

Retail sports betting would be taxed at a 15% rate, and online sports betting would be taxed at a 20% rate. Online sportsbooks would also need to pay $500,000 for initial licensing and a $100,000 yearly renewal fee.

A surprising move 

Oklahoma is one of 12 states that have not legalized sports betting. Stitt has a documented history of support for the gambling industry and was behind multiple bills that were proposed in the Oklahoma Congress last year. None of them passed.

“I promised Oklahomans if we pursued sports betting, we would do it right— and this plan does just that,” Stitt said in a press release. “Thirty-five states have already legalized sports betting, and it’ll be a great revenue stream for the state. Tribes will be able to add it onto their existing infrastructure, and Oklahomans can access it right from their phone.”

Despite Stitt’s intense efforts and plans, it appears as if he’ll go in on the push alone. Rep. Ken Luttrell, who sponsored a failed sports betting bill last year, told local news outlet KFOR that Stitt did not seek his consultation before announcing his plan.

Luttrell wasn’t the only one who was caught by surprise by Stitt’s announcement. The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) released a statement that said it too had not had discussions with the Governor before his big reveal.

“The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association was not consulted prior to Gov. Stitt releasing his sports betting plan,” said the OIGA. “The members of the OIGA have been preparing to receive an offer from the State on sports betting for the past couple of years, and while we appreciate Gov. Stitt finally joining the sports betting conversation, to date he has not engaged in meaningful and respectful government-to-government discussion with tribes.”

“We remain hopeful that he is committed to moving forward in a productive manner in accord with established law and process, which would include working with the Oklahoma Legislature to offer a compact supplement to tribes within the State-Tribal Gaming Act construct that protects the tribes’ ‘substantial gaming exclusivity,’” the OIGA’s released continued. “To approach it otherwise is simply to invite failure.”

Details of the plan

35 of Oklahoma’s 38 federally-recognized tribes have already signed gaming compacts. In total, 143 tribal gaming facilities could house sportsbooks.

Luttrell’s failed 2023 bill suggested the tribes should pay taxes based on their gross gaming revenue haul. He called for taxation on 4% of the first $5 million, 5% of the next $5 million, and 6% of the remaining revenue every month.

That bill advanced out of the House via a 66-22 vote and was signed by Sen. Bill Coleman, though it never stood a vote in the Senate.

Coleman also did not receive any communication from Stitt before his plan was revealed.

“It’s frustrating that he didn’t feel it necessary to collaborate with those of us who have been diligently working on this major issue for over a year now, but I’m hopeful that will change in the coming weeks,” Coleman said. “A lack of coordination between the executive branch and tribal leadership was the main reason our bill stalled this session.”

Stitt’s proposal would legalize wagering on professional sports but would protect collegiate student-athletes by banning prop betting and betting on individual performances during college events. That comes after a number of NCAA athletes and representatives reported an uptick in the harassment of student-athletes nationwide amid the sports betting boom.

According to Oklahoma.gov, Gov. Stitt is “actively awaiting input from the NCAA and athletic conferences that impact Oklahoma to see how they choose to regulate the industry.”

Four of Oklahoma’s six neighboring states—Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arkansas—have legal, live sports betting markets. Missouri and Texas have yet to legalize sports betting in any capacity.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.