Sports Betting: The Mississippi Choctaws may be first; will Oregon tribes be next?

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is expecting to be the first Native American tribe in the U.S. to offer sports betting in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 14, 2017 decision striking down a federal law that prohibited sports gambling.

The Choctaw Tribal Council has started the ball rolling by approving professional and collegiate sports bettingat the Choctaw’s Silver Star Casino and the Golden Moon Casino at the Pearl River Resort near Philadelphia, MS and the Bok Homa Casino in Choctaw, MS.

GoldenMoonHotelandCasino

The Golden Moon Hotel and Casino, one of the planned sports betting sites in Mississippi.

Nine Native American tribes own and operate Indian casinos in Oregon, a small fraction of the 238 tribes in 28 states that offer some form of gaming, according to the National Indian Gaming Commission.You can bet all the tribes are going to go after a piece of the sports betting action.

The only casinos currently allowed in Oregon have to be owned and operated by Native American tribes. It’s not clear how the legalization of sports betting will play out in that circumstance.

One thing that’s for sure is that the tribes aren’t going to be alone in wanting to capture sports betting revenue.

Professional sports leagues have already said they want a cut. Leagues would receive 1 percent of the total wagered on their sporting events under a proposal presented in May by NBA Senior Vice President Dan Spillane. “Without our games and fans, there could be no sports betting,” Spillane testified at a legislative panel studying the prospect of legalized sports gambling in New York.

The NBA and MLB have already drafted model legislation that would enshrine a 1 percent “integrity fee” in law and they have sent forth a phalanx of expensive lobbyists to statehouses to advance their agenda.

The LEAD1 Association, which represents athletic directors at 130 colleges, including directors at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, has said colleges deserve integrity fees as well.

Let the games begin.

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