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Oklahoma Race Wagering

Pari-mutuel betting was legalized in Oklahoma via a 1982 ballot initiative. The Oklahoma Horse Racing Act became effective on 22 March 1983. Horse tracks are permitted to offer electronic games as well.

The Act established the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission (OKHRC) and a nine-member board responsible for policy and oversight of operations. Members are appointed by the governor for six-year terms. The OKHRC includes a Law Enforcement Division that is responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations.

Local municipalities have authority to prohibit pari-mutuel wagering within county jurisdictions by presenting citizens with a countywide vote. Twelve counties have authorized pari-mutuel horse racing (Beckham, Comanche, Creek, Garfield, Lincoln, Love, Marshall, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Rogers, Sequoyah and Tulsa). Only two counties have voted to prohibit the gaming activity, Atoka and Carter.

There are currently three OKHRC-sanctioned pari-mutuel racetracks. A fourth, Blue Ribbon Downs, was closed in November 2009. The Cherokee Nation, which bought the racetrack the following spring, announced that it does not plan to reopen the track or establish a casino at the location.

Fair Meadows offers simulcasting besides live horse racing. However, it does not offer electronic games, since it has an agreement with the Creek, Osage and Cherokee tribes to receive $2 million per year for not offering the games at the racetrack.

Oklahoma Race Wagering Properties

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