Stitt compacts
(Mike Allen)

You can make a wager now, but will it pay off later?

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is hoping that question will be answered in his favor — 10 years from now when he will no longer be governor and when potential automatic renewal of the state’s Model Tribal Gaming Compact might otherwise lie beyond his control.

By proposing that the Horse Racing Commission approve a non-binding resolution well ahead of a 2034 deadline, Stitt has reminded onlookers about one major source of his disagreements with Oklahoma’s most influential tribal nations: the gaming compact fight from 2019 and 2020 that still lingers today.

The whole situation comprises a complicated web to untangle, but it’s one that bears watching. With Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s counsel requested by the Horse Racing Commission to examine how such a proposal is even handled, the proverbial pot could be sweetened into a full saga sooner than later.

Of course, exactly what types of gambling are allowed in our state — and Major League Baseball? — remains a source of much consternation. Many people would like a legalized and regulated sportsbook in Oklahoma, but the historical dynamics of horse racing and Class III gaming make the commission an unusual place to start negotiations.

While Stitt’s proposed resolution says he is trying to put Oklahoma “in the best position to negotiate” the compacts in 2034, the initial reactions of some commission members might have been enough to irk the executive up on his high horse.

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