Olympia, WA – The first attempt to make sports betting legal in the State of Washington has been presented. Eric Pettigrew (D-Seattle), along with five other Representatives, sponsored House Bill 1975 which authorizes sports wagering on a very limited basis.

The bill went through its first reading and was referred to the Commerce & Gaming Committee today.

The Details Of The Washington Sports Betting Bill

Washington Representatives explained the history of tribal casinos in the state and their proven track record of successfully operating casinos over the past twenty years.

HB 1975 would allow these tribal casinos to operate sports wagering both in person and over the internet. The mobile gambling would be limited to on-site betting only as gamblers must be physically in the casino or on tribal grounds.

The bill does not detail any licensing terms or policies nor do they discuss betting restrictions or a revenue sharing system. Some states have prevented the ability to wager on collegiate teams that are located within the state and this might be something that the Representatives add.

HB 1975 still has a long way to go before it is finalized and agreed upon. If it passes the House, it must also travel through the Senate and finally be agreed upon by Governor Jay Inslee. But we first, we will track this as it will incur many changes and inclusions to the original text.

Other Representatives sponsoring the bill: Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen), Steve Kirby (D-Tacoma), Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane), Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien), Monica Jurado Stonier (D-Vancouver)

Kirby is also part of the Commerce & Gaming Committee’s who will focus on multiple sports betting bills. Another topic of interest in the state is the creation of a task force for problem gambling. House Bill 1880 reflects that discussion and is on their session on February 14th at 8am.