Where Does the Money from Pari Mutuel Betting Go in Oklahoma?

The legality of sports betting in the United States is still a complicated subject. The National Bookmakers’ Association is currently monitoring the situation and working to educate the public about the benefits of a free market for sports betting.

However, even if you’re not legally allowed to bet on sports, you can find every aspect of sports betting you need online. The technology has become so easy to use that even a non-professional can enjoy the thrill of placing a wager on a sporting event.

That’s why we’re going to take a look at where the money from pari mutuel betting in Oklahoma goes.

The State Incomes From Legal Sports Betting

According to StateImpact Oklahoma, legal sports betting in Oklahoma brings in a lot of revenue for the state.

The Association of Collegiate Registrars estimated in 2018 that athletes’ sports bet winnings amounted to $52.9 million. That’s a 12% increase from the prior year and it means that legal sports betting in Oklahoma is helping to fuel the state’s gambling addiction. Keep in mind that this is just a portion of the total amount of gambling revenue in Oklahoma. The majority of the state’s income comes from the illegal market, which includes casinos and racetracks.

How Is The Money From Legal Sports Betting Spent In Oklahoma?

Most of the income from legal sports betting in Oklahoma is going towards promoting education, providing health care, and creating new jobs. The state legislature has made it a priority to ensure that all Oklahomans can get an education. One of the ways they’re doing this is by increasing spending in public schools by 12% in the next budget year. This will fund additional teachers, instructional materials, and school supplies.

In addition to funding public schools, the state legislature has also directed the bulk of the legal sports betting income to pay for Medicaid and the state’s health insurance program. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gets $15 per week per patient from the medical provider in charge of the person’s Medicaid. This is a relatively low amount considering that legal sports betting in Oklahoma is helping to fund the state’s health care system. The Department of Human Services administers the Medicaid program in Oklahoma and they get paid from the state’s share of the gambling revenue.

It’s important to note that much of the revenue from legal sports betting in Oklahoma comes from the NCAA and its member institutions. The biggest of which is the University of Oklahoma. The school saw a $13.2 million increase in revenue from its athletic department in 2018 alone and that’s thanks to its partnership with the Brooklyn Nets. The team’s parent company, Spectrum Sports & Entertainment, operates the New York Gaming Corporation. This corporation runs the arena in which the Nets play and it collects money from tickets, merchandise sales, and gambling. The money the team earns in the arena goes into an account administered by the state’s education department. It’s important to remember that most of the revenue from legal sports betting in Oklahoma comes from the NCAA and its member institutions. This is because state-sponsored lotteries and casinos cannot offer sports betting. (The state is, however, allowed to offer pari mutuel betting.)

Where Does The Money From Illegal Sports Betting Go?

As we mentioned above, most of the gambling in Oklahoma occurs illegally. The major problem is that it’s not taxed like legal sports betting. Additionally, the state lacks a legal framework for regulating and taxing online gambling. This leaves a lot of room for criminal activity, such as money laundering, identity theft, and credit card fraud.

In fact, a 2017 report from the U.S. Senate found that nearly half of all U.S. gambling revenue comes from illegal sources and that the figure is increasing. The report also found that only a small percentage of that revenue goes towards law enforcement. In 2019, the DOJ is prioritizing investigations into illegal gambling and financial crimes committed in connection with the industry. This follows an announcement from the Attorney General that they would like to “hear from any individual or business that is being preyed upon by those engaged in such illegal activity”.

The Major Challenges Facing The State

While legal sports betting in Oklahoma is helping to fuel the state’s economy and is paying for education and health care costs, it’s also creating major challenges. One of the biggest is the problem of addiction. We mentioned above that much of the revenue comes from school-sponsored bets and it’s a problem that’s been recognized by the state legislature. Some lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow students to leave school grounds to participate in sports wagering. This would allow students to enjoy the benefits of legal sports betting without the danger of becoming too reliant on it. The legislature hasn’t yet seen this proposal and it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll pass this bill.

Another problem facing the state is problem gambling. This is defined as playing or risking money on casino games, sports betting, or lotteries that are considered inappropriate for someone of legal age. The state’s public health department estimates that up to one in five residents may be affected by problem gambling. This number is likely higher considering that many people with gambling problems keep their condition a secret. Those who do seek help often struggle to find effective treatment. The lack of a legal framework for online gambling, along with the high rates of smartphone use among adolescents, have helped contribute to this issue. If you’re reading this and you or someone you know is affected by gambling problems, The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is a resource that provides help and information for those looking for help.

Final Takeaway

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re interested in legal sports betting or are already involved in this activity. That’s great! Just remember that this is still a fairly new idea in Oklahoma and there are a lot of issues that the state needs to work through before it can fully regulate and benefit from sports betting. However, this is still one of the best places in the country to be involved in this type of activity. The state needs to work on its economy and healthcare system and it’s a great place to do business. Additionally, with so much competition from offshore betting websites, it’s important to remember that you might not always get your money back if you do lose. That’s something to keep in mind.