Published: March 2, 2018

Oklahoma House committee OKs sports betting

Sports betting, craps and roulette at tribal casinos could be a reality with new bill

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma House of Representatives committee approved a bill late Monday that legalizes some forms of sports betting at tribal casinos.

House Bill 3375, by Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, is an Indian gaming bill that would allow forms of “dice and ball” games — craps and roulette — and pooled sports betting.

In return, the state would get 10 percent of the games’ proceeds.

A similar bill was part of the failed “Step Up Oklahoma” proposal but did not include the sports gaming provision.

It’s unclear exactly how the games would operate. Traditionally, “banked” games such as craps, roulette, blackjack and sports betting are played against the house.

In this case, however, the games must be “pooled.” Bettors would be playing against each other for a pot, like in poker or an office pool.

Coming up near the end of a 2½-hour committee meeting, HB 3375 received little comment before passing the Appropriations and Budget Committee on a 17-8 vote.

“Do you think gambling is good for the people of Oklahoma?” asked Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell.

“That is a philosophical issue but nothing in this bill deals with whether it is good or bad,” Wallace said.

The changes would initially bring in $28 million a year, according to a House staff analysis, with 88 percent of that going to the Education Reform Revolving Fund, also known as the 1017 Fund.

HB 3375 can now be heard by the full House.

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