News 9 - December 27, 2023 8:16 am

As the push for sports gambling ramps up in the state, the Chickasaw Nation is rolling the dice on their own mobile gaming app. It will allow people to participate in bingo-style mobile gambling on Winstar grounds.

“Good for them because that’s where the industry is going,” said Sen. Bill Coleman (R-Ponca City). “At some point you can’t get on the machine at Winstar. There’s so many people there. Well, you can go to your car now and gamble right there on your phone.”

Coleman says this can open up a whole new revenue stream for the tribes and even the state.

“What’s going to be interesting is to see if this grows outside of the parking lot of Winstar to where you could make a bet anywhere in Chickasaw country,” said Sen. Coleman.

The app is approved under federal law, which allows tribal nations to offer games that are bingo at their core without state approval or oversight. Those games are where players compete against other players, not the house.

Unlike other mobile gaming, the Chickasaw Nation’s app will take and pay out real money.

It also will track location and usage to ensure people are really on Winstar property when placing bets, and it will flag problem gambling, and help turn those people towards gambling addiction services.

With the pressure building to legalize sports gambling in Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation could be laying the groundwork.

“There are people that won’t play a machine that would put a sports bet down at the drop of a hat,” said Sen. Coleman.

Senator Coleman has a bill that is ready to go for next session that would legalize sports gambling in the state, relying on a partnership with the tribes.

“I think the most important pressing issue right now is to have a conversation. I think we’re falling behind,” said Sen. Coleman.

As Kansas continues to rake in millions and Texas inching closer to legalizing gambling, Senator Coleman says the pressure is on.

“I know the new Choctaw casino in Durant has a nice sports area and it has windows there ready to take money from Texans,” said Sen. Coleman. “I just have a burning desire to get this done.”

Coleman says he is open to changing or modifying his bill to ensure both the tribes and state leaders are happy.

“The clock is ticking. we are losing money out of state and it’s time to get sports betting in Oklahoma,” said Sen. Coleman.

Governor Stitt also rolled out a sports betting plan that would allow brick-and-mortar sports betting and mobile betting.

His office sent a statement, saying “It’s great that casino operators also recognize the betting market is shifting to mobile applications, which is why, under the Oklahoma plan, we would allow bets to be placed from mobile devices anywhere in the state. We hope that by opening it up to all vendors and letting the players determine which platform they’d prefer, we have a well rounded, high quality market for gaming apps going forward. I look forward to the legislature considering Senator Murdock and Rep. Caldwell’s proposal.”

The Chickasaw Nation app is expected to be available at Winstar soon.


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