Betting on sports could become legal in Oklahoma, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling that came down Monday.
The nation’s high court ruled a federal ban on sports betting is unconstitutional.
Those who support Monday’s ruling say it is a step in the right direction. They see it as a way for states to make money and regulate something that’s already happening.
When it comes to gambling in Oklahoma, you can find just about anything you’d expect to find in Vegas, with just a few exceptions.
Betting on sports is one of them.
Jack Ross with “The Fat Jack Sports Service” is a handicapper.
He lives in Oklahoma and flies to Vegas to legally place bets on sporting events for clients.
“This is going to allow people who want to gamble on sports to do it legally,” Ross said.
Ross says he’s excited about the ruling and hopes Oklahoma jumps on board.
The American Gambling Association says the ruling is progress and will finally help states regulate something already happening under the table.
“It’s why Americans are wagering $150 billion,” stated Geoff Freeman with the American Gambling Association. “I’m sure there are some that would like to return to a poly-Amish time where people aren’t spending that money, but the fact is that it’s happening and we can either do it in a regulated manner or we can put our heads in the sand.”
In Oklahoma, tribes control a majority of the gaming venues.
At River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, which is owned by the Muskogee Creek Nation, CEO Pat Crofts says their customers want sports betting.
“We’re obviously encouraged by the opportunity, but it is very early right now,” said Crofts. “A lot of things have to happen at the federal, the state level, legislation and compact amendments, so it’s not going to happen overnight.”
As for Ross, he says that, whatever happens, he’ll still be placing his bets.
“If we legalize it in Oklahoma, great. If we don’t, I’ll keep flying to where it is legal, because I like raising my family here, I live here, and I grew up here,” said Ross.
The Cherokee Nation released a statement that reads in part, “we look forward to working with the state of Oklahoma on how to implement sports betting in a way that’s positive for all parties.”