Sports Betting Legalization Moves Closer in Washington State

Changes in legislation within the state of Washington could lead to sports betting services if the momentum continues. Fifteen tribes in the state are closer than ever to offer the betting option and could possibly be up and running by the upcoming NFL season. Last week, the state’s Gambling Commission updated gaming compacts with the tribes, allowing sports betting. The change was approved by seven commissioners.

Moving Forward

More changes must come before sports betting will be a reality in Washington State. Additional approvals are needed from a government standpoint as well as within the tribes themselves. Each chair of the tribes must sign the updated compact, and Governor Jay Inslee must also provide his signature.

The United States Department of Interior must also rule in favor of the changes. The government group has a total of 45 days to rule on the compacts. The approval must then include the data published within the Federal Register. At that point, the sports betting industry would be authorized to offer services.

In 2020, a law was approved by state legislators to allow the tribes to offer sports betting. The services can include wagering on college sports as well as events that take place during the Olympics. Providers will not be able to offer services on local college sports.

If approved, the tribes would be allowed to offer land-based services as well as mobile and online. However, the online options would be limited to the property. So, players would have to go to the casino to be able to wager online.

Drafted Rules

Just last week, the Gaming Commission approved the initial filing of the sports betting draft rules. The final sports betting rules will be reviewed on July 28. The rules review the licensing requirements as well as fees and reporting requirements for the industry.

Also considered are the monitoring providers' integrity rules, sports betting integrity, geolocation needs, mobile account requirements, and additional information. Money derived from sports betting will be allocated towards problem gambling, community improvements, charity, and smoking cessation.

Rebecca George is the executive director for the Washington Indian Gaming Association who said last week that by placing sports betting into the existing tribal gaming system, the state has ensured that revenues from sports betting will stay in the state. The funds will then be used to uplift historically marginalized communities.

Ms. George also pointed out that the new operations will create local jobs and give a boost to the local economy. It will also fund critical services to help those in need.

The tribes in Washington are excited to have the opportunity to take part in sports betting services. a spokeswoman for the Kalispel Tribe told the media that the tribe is excited to go from legislative approval to new compacts.

The Muckleshoot Tribe is also ready to begin new services. The tribe uses every dollar earned from gaming to help members, including those who are affected by poverty, disease, and neglect.

We should see movement by the tribal leaders and the governor this week to get the ball rolling with compact signing.

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Jackson
Our in-house expert for all things regulation, Jackson covers all major recent developments across US states relating to gambling laws & legislation.