States around the country are beginning to embrace the casino industry. Some areas allow only tribal gambling. Others allow commercial casinos to operate. This week, a study was revealed that shows Oklahoma is one of the top gambling states in the country.
It’s interesting news, yet not entirely unexpected. Now is the perfect time to look at this state’s current gambling regulations. We’ll also look at some of the issues that Oklahoma’s gambling industry has faced over the past few months.
Let’s get into it!
Gambling Laws in Oklahoma, Explained
Nowadays, Oklahoma is known for having one of the biggest casino industries in the country. The first casinos began operating here back in the 1800s. In 1890, lawmakers here passed legislation that banned all forms of gambling.
In 1992, the state began allowing Native American tribes to begin operating Class II casinos. 10 years later, lawmakers began allowing bingo games to be offered inside these gambling venues. For decades, the tribes here pushed lawmakers to allow Class III gambling which includes traditional casino games and slot machines.
Eventually, the tribes took the issue to court. They managed to win and in the year 2002, casinos in this state were granted permission to officially offer Class III games. This decision proved to be highly profitable for the state.
More than 100 land-based casinos now operate in Oklahoma. They’re hugely popular with locals and tourists and help to generate millions of dollars for the state every single month. The huge number of casinos helped to make Oklahoma one of the top gambling states in the country.
Tribes here have begun to fight with lawmakers over potential changes to the state’s tax structure. Fortunately, gambling venues here continue to be highly popular.
Oklahoma is One of the Top Gambling States in the Country
Everyone knew that Oklahoma was a major gambling destination. It draws in a huge number of individuals from states such as Texas and Tennessee who want to gamble inside casinos. This week, a report surfaced that proves Oklahoma is one of the top gambling states in the country.
The American Gaming Association recently held a study that shows Oklahoma is one of the highest states in the nation when it comes to the average amount each resident gambles. Only Nevada has a larger gambling market, according to the study.
Here is the breakdown of the top five gambling states’ average annual resident gambling spending.
- Nevada: $3,928
- Oklahoma: $1,141
- Mississippi: $717
- Louisiana: $674
- Rhode Island: $620
This is obviously good news for Native American tribes operating casinos here. Many of these tribes are working to open new venues every single year.
As we mentioned earlier, there have been some issues between the tribes and lawmakers. Let’s look at what the problem stems from.
Tribes and Lawmakers Continue to Negotiate Tax Structure
For many years, a harmony has existed between Oklahoma’s state officials and Native American tribes. The two parties have agreed on a tax system that works. Earlier this year, however, the state’s governor began calling for changes.
Governor Kevin Stitt believes that the current structure is outdated. He wants the tribes to begin paying the state more for the profits they earn from the gambling industry. To say this didn’t sit well with the tribes here would be an understatement.
For months, these tribes refused to negotiate with lawmakers. In October, things took a turn and the tribal leaders finally agreed to speak about the proposed changes.
This has helped to move things forward in a positive light. The Shawnee Tribe recently opened a new gambling venue in September. More casinos are scheduled to open over the next few months.
Oklahoma is one of the top gambling states in the country. Hopefully, it stays this way for years to come.
Stay tuned for more US casino news over the next few months!