Washington Gaming Association will conduct criminal background investigations for applications.

  • Washington will be releasing applications for potential sportsbook operators within the next week or two.
  • Anyone applying for a license to open a sportsbook in the state must go through a pre-verification check to qualify for licensure.
  • A $5000 fee is needed at the time that an application is submitted and then a financial and criminal background check will begin for all interested applicants.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington legalized sports betting on March 25, 2020, and as the state comes up on the one-year anniversary of its legalization, rules and regulations that now include pre-licensing checks are still being drawn up.

When going through multiple Tribal Gaming Compact negotiations that will need to be agreed upon with both the Tribes and Washington, the process can take much longer than usual as Washington residents can attest.

One thing that has been set for the overall rules and regulations of the industry is implementing pre-licensing verification checks for potential operators.

What’s Happening In Washington?

There are 29 Tribes in the state with at least 29 casinos between them and all of these Tribes and locations are interested in expanding their compacts to include sports betting. The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) has drafted these new rules for operators to start getting their requirements together ahead of any real application process or Tribal partnership.

Until a more extensive and detailed set of rules and regulations for sportsbook platforms to follow has been written up, no gaming businesses will even be considered for licenses.

Publicly no sportsbooks have been named in having partnered with Tribal locations for legal sports betting in Washington yet. While retail sports wagering establishments are a sure thing, it’s still undecided whether or not the Evergreen State will see mobile sportsbooks.

And should a state-sanctioned online outlet not become something that is seen for residents to use, these platforms can still be utilized in the state.

An application for sports wagering operators that wish to open in the Washington market will be able to find the proper paperwork to get ahead of the game by next week through the WSGC website. There will be a $5000 fee for an application to officially be submitted. More money may be requested if the WSGC sees fit to request it and if so, an operator will be given 30 days to comply before their application is withdrawn.

Operators will be subject to a criminal investigation as well as a financial report to see whether they have held a steady business in recent years. If more funds are required, the background check will cease until those funds are paid within the 30 day window.

After sports betting companies pass their background checks, the records are good for one year. If they do not launch in Washington within that year, they will need to undergo another investigation.

What’s Next?

Legal sports betting in Washington is still far from launching in the state. The WSGC has said rules and regulations will be solidified and made public no later than the end of Spring 2021.

Back in August, WSGC Director David Trujillo told LegalSportsBetting that the sports wagering industry in Washington could go live by late 2021 at best or early 2022 and at this rate, his estimated timeline rings true.

Washington will have sportsbooks launched by the end of the year, if not by early next year but the WSGC continues to work tirelessly to get this industry off of the ground for sports bettors in the state.

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