The Washington State Legislature

  • Washington needs three more signatures to have sportsbooks officially be able to launch in the state.
  • Governor Jay Inslee, the Tribal Chair, and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior all need to approve the compacts that have passed in the WSGC for 15 tribes.
  • Sportsbooks are expected to launch in the state by the 2021 NFL season for both retail and mobile wagering.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) approved the rules and regulations for 15 tribal gaming compacts that were written to include sports betting on Thursday. These documents are now on their way to Governor Jay Inslee for his signature.

The WSGC voted in favor of the drafts with 7 YEAS and 0 NAYS, putting the Washington sports wagering market timeline on track to go live by the 2021 NFL season.

“We have 15 sports wagering amendments going to the governor’s office,” said Bud Sizemore, Chairman of the WSGC.

Upcoming Steps For Washington Sportsbooks

Once the Governor signs off on the expanded compacts, the Tribal Chair will also need to agree to the terms. After that, they will be sent to the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) for 45 days as is the rule per the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

Washington sports betting became a regulated industry in March of 2020 and it has taken well over a year to get to this point. Of the 25 federally recognized tribes in the state, 15 will be opening sportsbooks by the Fall.

The others can opt into the business at any time but will first have to go through the long process of amending their compacts in order to do so.

The tribes that will be moving forward with regulated sports betting are the Tulalip, Suquamish, Kalispel, Snoqualmie, Colville, Cowlitz, Jamestown S’Kallam, Lummi, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Shoalwater Bay, Spokane, Squaxin Island, Stillaguamish, and Swinomish tribes.

Each of these tribes will be able to open retail sportsbooks at all of their gaming locations statewide as well as launch mobile sportsbooks for patrons to utilize.

Sports Betting On The Horizon In WA

After the first two signatures and the third by the Secretary of the DOI, the new compacts will be published in the Federal Register, officially enacting them to become law in Washington.

“The Commission’s vote highlights the strong and collaborative partnership between tribes and the state that has emerged over the last three decades as our limited and carefully regulated system of gaming has taken shape. By fitting sports betting into the existing – and proven – tribal gaming system, the state has ensured that sports betting revenues will stay in Washington and will go towards uplifting historically marginalized communities, while creating local jobs, boosting the state economy, and funding critical services for those in need,” said Rebecca George, the Executive Director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association (WIGA).

Sports bettors in Washington should see local sportsbooks popping up this Fall.

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