Oklahoma Tribes Partner with Gaming Company for Sports-Themed Betting App

Oklahoma Tribes Partner with Gaming Company for Sports-Themed Betting App

Nearly everyone knows by now that sports betting in Oklahoma remains illegal. But as a recent deal between Oklahoma tribes and the gaming company Vetnos LLC shows, a sports-themed betting app is perfectly okay.

Did you just do a double-take? Understandable. But you didn't misread anything. Nor is this a mistake. Multiple Oklahoma tribes have partnered with Vetnos LLC to unveil an app, called PlaySqor, that will allow bettors to wager on player matchups across all sports.

And just so we're clear, those transactions can be placed in Oklahoma. They needn't take place on tribal grounds. They're just allowed, without exception.

How is this legal? And does it say anything about the future of sports betting in Oklahoma?

How Does the Sports-Themed App by Oklahoma Tribes Work?

Before we get into why this sports-themed betting app is legal, we first need to dig into its premise.

As outlined by the Tulsa World, "PlaySqor will allow people to bet as little as $1 on player matchups from a variety of sports, including pro and college football, basketball, soccer, hockey, golf and others...For example, matchups could involve quarterbacks or running backs in football, or individual basketball or baseball players. Once app players pick various matchups, the matchup winners are then placed on a bingo-type card, where users can win money based on rows or what type of pattern of 'squares' they fill, much like a tic-tac-toe board."

Vetnos LLC expects to roll out PlaySqor in partnership with at least two Oklahoma tribes sometime over the next year. It will reportedly be available across both Android and Apple devices, and the tribes will have the ability to customize their app to align with their brand and targeted clientele.

As of now, one of the Oklahoma tribes slated to promote the PlaySqor app is the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, which operates the Indigo Sky Casino and Resort. The second of the Oklahoma tribes is Anadarko-based Wichita and Affiliated Tribes. Both tribes have noted much of their interest stemmed from the size of their current operations. Neither is a particularly big player in the casino industry, and the PlaySqor app will grant them the ability to draw in an audience their competitors currently cannot.

Why is the PlaySqor App Legal in Oklahoma?

While the Oklahoma sports betting issue has generated more urgency in recent months, it isn't legal yet. And there is no concrete timetable for when it might be. Many still believe it'll be years.

However, PlaySqor apparently does not fall under the sports betting umbrella. It is considered Class II gaming, because it was developed using a bingo software engine. And this type of gaming is, in fact, allowed throughout Oklahoma. 

Other states aren't in the same boat. Sure, a place like Texas allows Daily Fantasy Sports. For most states that don't have legal sports betting, though, there is no viable alternative. That made Oklahoma a must-have market for the people at Vetnos.

“We wanted to give tribes an option…especially in places where (legalized) sports betting hasn’t been decided,” Valerie Spicer, the Chief Gaming Officer at Vetnos, told the Tulsa World.

What's more, the setup is designed to be relatively effortless on behalf of the tribes. They provide the market and some input. Vetnos provides basically everything else. They designed and built the app. They will run it, including the processing of transactions. In return for their partnership, Oklahoma tribes will then receive a cut of the profits. This obviously isn't as lucrative as it would be if Oklahoma sports betting were legal, but it allows the tribes to branch out from strictly on-site gaming.

Will PlaySqor Lead to Oklahoma Tribes Getting Sports Betting Legalized?

There is a distinct chance the rollout of PlaySqor changes nothing in Oklahoma. Class II gaming has been legal throughout the state for a while. If other bingo-gaming options never forced them to reconsider, why would this one?

Well, for starters, it is directly sports related. This isn't actual bingo. It's based on the outcome of real life sporting events. The business drummed up by Vetnos and their partnering Oklahoma tribes could serve as a barometer for the appetite of regular sports betting throughout the state.

More than that, Oklahoma is leaving even more money on the table. We already know they're missing out on bets placed elsewhere. Residents can and already frequently travel to neighboring states such as Kansas to submit wagers. They can also sign up with an off-shore site, like one of the those in our reviews of the top online sportsbooks. In either case, Oklahoma doesn't make any money off the bets placed.

The same will hold true for the PlaySqor app. Because it is only a Class II gaming mechanism, Vetnos and the Oklahoma tribes will split the profits only between them, with the former raking in a lion's share of the proceeds. The state of Oklahoma, meanwhile, will get nothing.

Perhaps this won't rankle them, either. Oklahoma has watched many other states shift course without moving their own needle. This could be the same situation in a different. Or maybe PlaySqor is such a success that Oklahoma finally realizes they are leaving millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars in annual tax revenue on the table by not joining the 30-plus states that have already legalized sports betting. Time will tell.

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your sports betting needs:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan is a sports betting writer who can tackle any topic from presidential elections to changes in the sports betting legislation federally and on the state level. He also writes picks for NFL.