When Will Sports Betting Be Available in Oklahoma?

The Legal Side

Although there are no laws that strictly regulate sports betting in Oklahoma, the state does have some rules regarding the matter. For instance, the state’s liquor control board has banned the sale, offer for sale or public display of any gaming devices (e.g., roulette wheels and double-shuffle machines) designed for use in connection with gambling. Additionally, it is illegal for professionals (e.g., lawyers, financial advisors, insurance agents, etc.) to promote or facilitate wagering on sporting events. Finally, it is against the law to use another person’s name in promoting or facilitating gambling activities. These laws vary by municipality, but, overall, the state tries to stay out of the business of sports betting.

The Regulatory Side

As previously mentioned, there are no legal barriers to sports betting in Oklahoma. However, the state does have regulations regarding the matter. For example, all sportsbooks must be operated by approved US bookmakers. Additionally, professional sports organizations (e.g., NBA, MLB, etc.) have the right of first negotiation with regards to the distribution of game-related images and statistics. Furthermore, all professional sportsbooks must be licensed by the Kentucky Department of Financial Regulation (KDFR).

The Political Side

Since there are no laws that strictly govern sports betting in Oklahoma, the issue is largely viewed as a political matter. That is, the matter is regulated at the federal level and, to a lesser extent, at the state level. For instance, the federal Wire Act makes it illegal for casinos to wager on sporting events (with a couple of exceptions).

The bottom line is that, as long as the federal government does not step in and ban it entirely, sports betting in Oklahoma should continue to be available to the public. However, it is important to remember that the state does have some laws regarding the matter and, thus, individuals and businesses that choose to engage in illegal sports betting activities may encounter legal problems.