Four Washington Tribes To Introduce Legal Sports Betting To The State

Four Washington tribes to introduce legal sports betting to the state. Four tribes of the state of Washington have opened negotiations with the state government to introduce sports betting. The legislature authorized wagering on sports earlier this year but only at tribal casinos — unlike Oregon’s broader legalization.

The Tulalip, Suquamish, Snoqualmie and Kalispel are the four tribes that want to be the first to take legal bets on sporting contests in Washington. They are now working with the state Gambling Commission on the regulatory specifics. The talks include topics such as betting ethics, licenses, regulation and support for the treatment of problem gambling.

“There’s definitely excitement from the sports bettor to the operator and other companies that are involved,” said Rebecca George, director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association. “This is the first new opportunity for a gaming product in our state for quite a while.”

George said casinos provide the key source of funding for a broad variety of social welfare, education, and economic growth services for Northwest tribal governments. The government of the state of Washington does not share in the sports betting profits.

State lawmakers in Washington have opted for more limited access than other states that allowed sports betting. Unlike in neighboring Oregon where the state lottery provides a smartphone sports betting app, there will be no easily available Internet or mobile betting options in Washington.

The sports wagering license from Washington State allows for betting on a wide variety of sporting activities including college sports, professional sports, international leagues, and Olympic and World Cup competitions. One exception is that games involving in-state college teams, including the UW Huskies or WSU Cougars, or minor league teams are not permitted to bet.

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for states beyond Nevada to have sports betting. It is now a state-by-state choice for policymakers to make.

[image: Jorge Alcala]

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