December 17, 2019
Bill Shapard

Likely voting Oklahomans divided over tribal gaming revenue payments to state

It's been 15 years since tribes were given exclusivity to engage in casino-style gaming in the state, and the governor and tribal leaders have been discussing its renewal, including the amount that tribes should pay to the state for this exclusivity.

According to the latest SoonerPoll Quarterly, likely voting Oklahomans are divided on whether the current amounts being paid are more than they should, less than they should, or just the right amount. A plurality believe the tribes are paying less than they should to the state that goes toward education and state agencies.

One-in-ten voters believe the tribes are paying more than they should, and just under one-in-four do not know anything about it or have an opinion. Only 27 percent felt the tribes were paying just the right amount.

[QUESTION] Thinking about the monies paid to the state of Oklahoma from Indian tribes that engage in gambling activities in the state, would you say the tribes are:

1. Paying MORE than they should 10.6%
3. Paying LESS than they should 38.3
4. Don't know/Refused 24.1

A majority of Republicans, 52 percent, believe tribes are paying less than they should, but Democrats and Independents were much more divided on the issue. Thirty-four percent (34.3) of Democrats felt tribes were paying just the right amount and 23.8 percent believed tribes were paying less than they should.  Independents were the ones least likely to have an opinion at 35 percent, but 23.1 percent believed tribes were paying the right amount and 27.4 percent felt they were paying less than they should.

There were no significant differences observed when looking at the results broken down by other key demographic subsets such as education, age, income, sex or race.

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll.

The scientific study was conducted from December 4-12, 2019 with 310 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus SoonerPoll's proprietary online panel. The sample was weighted by age, political party, and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a primary election. The weighting was conducted using a 'layered technique.'

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative and attending religious services once or more per week. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 5.57 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll's Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here.  A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on major campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.