Monday, November 06, 2023

Sens. Coleman, Murdock hopeful Stitt's support of sports betting will move issue next session

Sen. Coleman responds to governor’s sports betting plan

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City, released the following statement Friday after the governor announced a plan to advance sports betting in Oklahoma. Coleman is the Senate principal author of House Bill 1027, along with Rep. Ken Luttrell, to legalize sports betting in the state. The bill was introduced during the 2023 legislative session where it received House approval and will be available for further consideration by the Senate when session convenes in February.

“I’m somewhat surprised by the governor’s unexpected sports betting proposal given I already have an active piece of legislation, House Bill 1027, in the Senate to legalize sports betting and he has never reached out to share his support of the idea or to offer any other input on this important economic development issue. 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.

“While the governor’s plan might be a starting point, I’ll be interested to see if he has contacted or worked with our tribal partners to get their input. A lack of coordination between the executive branch and tribal leadership was the main reason our bill stalled this session. When dealing with the tribes, compacting, and the many nuances with exclusivity and future gaming negotiations, it’s imperative that Governor Stitt work in good faith with our tribal partners. I’m not sure he’ll garner much support given his plan, among other things, asks the tribes to give up their online share of sports gaming, which nationally accounts for 95% of total revenues.

“However, I am optimistic that Gov. Stitt is showing interest in bringing sports betting to Oklahoma. As I’ve said before, this would be an incredible economic boon for us and one that 37 other states have already taken advantage of. We need to seize this opportunity to create jobs and millions in new revenue. With more tribal casinos than any other state and three successful horse tracks, Oklahoma is primed for sports betting.

“I urge the governor to work with me, my House author Rep. Luttrell, and others who have been working on this issue, as well as the tribal nations because without their support, there will be no change. The governor’s plan needs some work but that’s what the legislative process is about – coordination, collaboration, and consensus – and I’m looking forward to it.”

Murdock supports governor’s sports betting plan

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Casey Murdock, R-Felt, issued the following statement in support of Governor Stitt’s plan to bring sports betting to Oklahoma, which was announced on November 2.

“I think that this is a fantastic opportunity to not only welcome new economic, tourism, and recreational opportunities to Oklahoma but also address the discrimination faced by Oklahomans who enjoy attending sporting events such as the Kentucky Derby or the Breeders Cup. It is unfair that they are not allowed to place bets online solely because they live in Oklahoma. The Governor's plan not only helps increase revenue coming into the state but also provides opportunities to every single Oklahoman.

“Oklahoma sports have always garnered high levels of enthusiasm, and embracing sports betting is an obvious move for our state and districts.”

The plan includes opportunities for tax revenue for the state, as well as guidelines for transparency and accountability in support of consumer protection.

For a fact sheet detailing sports betting in Oklahoma, click here.


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