The discussion about the legalization of sports betting in Oklahoma is still ongoing while the Chickasaw Nation develops other plans for another type of gambling.
Mobile gaming app:
The tribe from southern Oklahoma developed a mobile gaming app that will change the perspective when it comes to online gambling in the state. The app will be able to transfer real money, and it will be available at Chickasaw’s biggest gaming hub, Winstar World Casino and Resort, located near the border with Texas in Thackerville.
Launching this app will give a significant advantage to the tribe since most forms of gambling are still illegal in the state. Scott Emerson, an undersecretary for operations at the tribe’s Department of Commerce, said that this is completely new for the tribe.
Governor Kevin Stitt supports the legalization of online sports betting in the state. However, his support doesn’t extend to the tribes but only to licensed companies. However, the tribe currently has an agreement with the government, and in exchange for millions of dollars, it got exclusive gaming rights, but Stitt thinks that this amount is too low.
The app isn’t under the regulations of this agreement since federal law allows tribes to offer bingo games without any additional permissions. Since the app offers the games that are, in their core, bingo, it is allowed by the law.
The tribe got the preliminary approval for the app a year ago, and after that, the green light was given to the Muscogee and Choctaw nations. Eastern Shawnee Tribe and Wichita and Affiliated Tribes are also considering developing their mobile apps.
The upcoming launch and online sports betting issue:
On the Chicksaw’s app, the players will be able to enjoy three electronic games, but this time in a mobile version. The app was developed by Aristocrat Leisure Limited, and the tribe’s secretary, Bill Lance, even became a member of the company’s board of directors.
At the moment, the app isn’t widely available. Only a group of people who are invited to join can try the games. The launch is expected in January, and through geofencing technology, access will be limited to Winstar only, so compliance with federal law is guaranteed.
As The Oklahoman reports, Winstar is very popular among the players, especially among the ones from Texas.
According to Emmerson, how many people have used the app more than once will be measured, and it will be the main parameter of success.
The question of sports betting legalization in Oklahoma will be a priority at the Legislature meeting in February. However, the question of tribal online sports betting remains since even if sports betting is legalized in the state, the tribes will be allowed to accept only in-person bets.