Oklahoma AG Questions Governor Stitt’s Authority in Tribal Sports Betting

Oklahoma AG Questions Governor Stitt’s Authority in Tribal Sports Betting

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter recently gave his opinion on the tribal sports betting in the state. He made it clear that the governor cannot contract the state gaming law when it comes to tribal compacts.

Lawmakers sought the opinion

Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat and Speaker of the House Charles McCall had requested the AG’s office for an opinion. Hunter had previously condemned the newly negotiated gaming compacts between Gov. Kevin Stitt and two Indian tribes- Otoe-Missouria and Comanche Nation. Hunter said that the governor does not have the authority to enter into any compacts with the tribes and bind the state to any gaming activity that is restricted by law.

Oklahoma AG Questions Governor Stitt’s Authority in Tribal Sports Betting

Both Treat and McCall wrote a letter to Stitt after the AG’s response, adding their approval for his comments.

The letter reads,

“The inclusion of sports betting is one of a number of flaws found in our preliminary review of the documents signed yesterday… We are disappointed Oklahoma’s executive branch made a promise it could not legally keep under current law. Sovereign nations deserve promises Oklahoma can keep.”

The legal status of gambling in Oklahoma

The state doesn’t make gambling legal. It is allowed only to Indian tribes via gaming compacts authorized via the State-Tribal Gaming Act. The act does not authorize sports betting and table games. According to the act, Stitt cannot enter into any contracts with the tribes which involves sports betting. As Stitt isn’t authored to create these compacts, they don’t conform to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act either. This also means that bettors who end up placing a wager will also be indulging in an illegal act. The state will hold the rights to prosecute the person involved. However, the tribes will enjoy sovereign immunity from prosecution.

The compact in question has language that suggests that the state’s opinion on sports betting don’t hold ground and tribes can continue offering athletic wagering if they like. The state has agreed to allow the tribes to accept wagers on any sport they like, whether it is trading sports or esports betting. However, wagering on teams from Oklahoma colleges will be restricted.

The tax rate has been decided at 1.10% of the total handle. Meanwhile AG Hunter has writer o the Department of the Interior to deny the compacts. He suggests that the compact could damage the relationship between the two tribes and the state.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.