Legal Washington Sports Betting

On March 25, 2020, Washington passed ESHB 2638 to legalize sports betting at the state’s tribal casinos. The decision was surprising, as Washington has historically had some of the stricter sports gambling laws in the country, and many expected that the bill would be tabled until at least 2021 while lawmakers addressed the COVID-19 pandemic. While the legalization was momentous for state bettors, the first legal sportsbooks are likely almost a year away still. Other states have managed to launch legal sports betting within a few months of legalization, but doing so required a coordinated, Herculean effort that would be better spent on public health in 2020.

While people in the Evergreen State wait for state-licensed sports betting options to launch, there are still plenty of easy ways to bet on sports. International online sportsbooks like Bovada, SportsBetting, and BetOnline are fully licensed, legal, and regulated strictly by their country of origin. American players can freely bet at these sites with no fear of legal repercussions. They are safe, secure, and offer a world-class sports gambling experience.

Washington Indian tribes operate 28 land-based casinos which generate $3 billion in annual revenue, so adding sports betting to that portfolio should be hugely beneficial to the state from a financial standpoint. Although the revenue impact of sports betting will likely be small compared to more lucrative forms of casino gaming, revenues should increase tens of millions of dollars over what they would otherwise be. This will be a huge boon for Washington’s education system, which has levied gambling and lottery taxes to become one of the top 10 states in America for education.

In our guide we will discuss these topics and more so that prospective bettors have a solid understanding of legal Washington sports betting and everything it entails.

Is Land-Based Sports Betting Legal In Washington?

Washington currently allows land-based gambling in the form of a lottery games, bingo, table games, and more, but does not allow land-based sports betting, with a few minor exceptions for squares games, office pools and the like. Right now, the only legal sports betting options for Washington residents are online betting platforms, which are not subject to state gambling laws.

However, the state House of Representatives just passed a bill (HB 2638) that would authorize sports betting subject to the terms of pre-existing tribal gaming compacts. The version of the bill that passed in the House was referred to the Senate Committee on Labor & Commerce on February 17, 2020. In the house, HB 2638 passed by an overwhelming 83-14 margin, so the bill’s prospects for ratification in the Senate are strong. If everything goes as planned, the bill could be ratified as soon as late March or early April.

Yes, land-based sports betting is legal in Washington as of late March 2020. Both houses of Congress, along with Jay Inslee, approved ESHB 2638, which authorizes select facilities to apply for sports betting licenses. The only businesses eligible to apply for such a license are Washington’s 29 tribal casinos, as the state legislature wished to honor existing gaming compacts. For now, however, there are no land-based sports betting options in Washington.

The timeline for a full sports betting launch is unclear, but some time between late 2020 and mid-2021 is most likely, although the COVID-19 pandemic could delay things further. A gambling commission still needs to iron out the details for taxation and licensing fees before licenses can be issued, and that is likely a low priority. Once licenses are approved, casinos could either invest in their own technology, or partner with existing, more experienced sports betting firms like FanDuel and William Hill to run their sportsbooks.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Washington?

Although Washington does not hold any regulated online sports betting, online sports betting is still very much legal in the Evergreen State. These online sportsbooks are located overseas, meaning they are not restricted by US legislation. Therefore all residents and tourists of legal age can partake in online sports betting. There is no legal barrier preventing Washington players from getting in on the action. 

Currently, Washington has given no indication that they will be regulating online sports betting anytime soon, therefore, sports bettors in Washington who wish to partake in online sports betting can only do so through offshore sportsbooks. These sportsbooks are very much legal bringing legal online sports betting to all Washington sports bettors.

Betting On The Super Bowl In Washington

Legal Super Bowl BettingThe Seattle Seahawks are headed to the playoffs once again and that means it’s time for Washington bettors to find out where they will be placing their bets on the upcoming Super Bowl. Even if the Seahawks don’t make it all the way, bettors can still find full Seahawks Super Bowl odds with online sportsbooks like BetOnline. These sites will have hundreds if not thousands of bets on the Super Bowl that includes props, spread, specialty bets, and so much more. The Super Bowl is the biggest game of the year and the sportsbooks are ready to give their best to anyone willing to sign up. Be sure to compare all of your options as your place your bets this Super Bowl season.

Where To Bet On Sports In Washington

For now, the only place to engage in legal Washington sports betting is at an online sportsbook as they all accept Washington bettors. Washington law prohibits gambling over the internet, but nobody has ever been arrested or charged with breaking this law. The law is more designed to deter sports betting operators than it is to punish individual bettors. Once the Washington government begins issuing sportsbook licenses, expect a good handful of the state’s 29 tribal casinos to apply for one.

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Bovada Sportsbook

Bovada – Washington Has The Best Sportsbook In Bovada

Sports are so exciting to watch. It is also exciting to bet on as well and what makes it even more interesting is using the Bovada sportsbooks to place those key bets. There are so many prop bets that are here for Washington sports betting players to use that there is no way that players can lose money. All you have to do is check out some of the things that Bovada offers, like live betting and mobile betting. The odds will be great to choose from and once you are 18 and older, you can sign up and have your own account. Along with those bets come great promotions for new and current account holders. Make sure to check out Bovada before the real sports season begins.

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BetOnline Sportsbook

BetOnline – Best Bonuses for Washington Bettors

BetOnline has a host of Super Bowl bonuses that Washington sports bettors are able to capitalize on, and with the big game always in focus, there is no time like the present. The 50% Welcome Bonus is its most popular option available to any bettors who opens a new account. Using promo code BOL1000, all first time Washington bettors can get a 50% match bonus valued up to $1,000 on their first deposit. Returning bettors also gain access to the Lifetime Guarantee bonus. Using promo code LIFEBONUS sports bettors get a 25% match on all of their deposits going forward. This is also valued at up to $1,000. There is also the first time crypto bonus with promo code CRYPTO100 and the 35% match bonus for cryptocurrency reloads with promo code CRYPSTO35.

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MyBookie Sportsbook

MyBookie – Best Seahawks Odds

Washington is a state full of sports fans who love nothing more than to root on their teams. The only thing better than watching your team win is having a huge bet on the same team, and with today’s online sportsbooks like MyBookie, that is an easy reality. MyBookie is a legal and safe betting website that has been serving Washington customers for years. Find all the best odds for the Seahawks, Mariners, Huskies, Cougars, and any other team you might root for on MyBookie. You can also find player props, teasers, and all kinds of special offers that MyBookie offers throughout the year. Give MyBookie a shot next time you are looking for a way to bet in WA.

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Xbet Sportsbook

XBet – Bet With Bitcoin In Washington

XBet is one of the best online sportsbooks currently available for Washington bettors. Not only is XBet legal and safe to use, but XBet has some of the best betting options available in the world. On XBet you will find game lines, player props, teasers, combo bets, and everything else a sports bettor would ever need. One of the best features of XBet is the ability to bet with multiple payment options like Bitcoin. XBet makes it easy to purchase and deposit cryptocurrency right into your betting account, and even offers bonuses and promotions just for using the medium. Be sure to give XBet a visit next time you are looking for a new sports betting site.

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SportsBetting Sportsbook

SportsBetting – The Best Option For Washington Live Bettors

While Washington residents wait for their state to open up physical sportsbooks, many are left without a proper sportsbook in the meantime. Luckily, the international online sportsbooks are still available to WA residents who are looking to bet. SportsBetting is one of these sites that has been providing a safe and legal betting platform for bettors in Washington. One of the best features of SportsBetting is their live betting suite. Here you can find betting odds on hundreds of different sports and leagues around the world, and bet on them while they happen. Live betting is just a small factor of what makes SportsBetting one of the biggest players in the online sportsbook world. Be sure to take a visit and browser all there is to offer on SportsBetting next time you looking to bet in Washington.

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Where’s The Closest Place To Me To Bet?

There are plenty of places to bet in Washington if you like casinos – the Evergreen State has over two dozen tribal casinos that will happily take your money – so the question really out to be “where’s the closest place to me to bet on sports?” The closest brick-and-mortar sportsbooks are tribal casinos in Oregon for right now. If you don’t want to travel to other sports betting states to bet at a casino, there should be some operational brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Washington sometime in 2021.

The wait is no big deal though, as legal online sportsbooks all offer better odds and more convenience than Sin City or other sports betting states have via features like live in-game betting, mobile betting odds, and so on), as well as 100% legality, being licensed and regulated in their home countries by the gaming authorities there. It’s no stretch to say that our most recommended legal Washington sports betting sites offer more to the gamer than anybody else in the industry.

Washington Sports Betting Sites

As we indicated throughout this guide, the best foreign-based sports betting websites are Bovada, BetOnline, and SportsBetting. Each of these sites has its own advantages and special features, and keeping multiple sportsbook accounts open and active is something we fully endorse so you can make use of these perks (which range from different and compelling bonus offers to unique and sometimes complementary odds on the same game).

However, these sites are pretty much the only names in the game in town when it comes to a legal Washington sports betting option. The Evergreen State has thorough anti-gambling laws, and online gambling will not be permitted by the new law. That being said, all the offshore sports betting sites we recommend will accept Washington players, so actually placing a bet on the Huskies or the Seahawks is perfectly legal as long as you do it through the correct channels.

Washington Sports Betting And Gambling Laws

After passing ESHB 2638, this made sports betting legal in Washington. Tribal gaming facilities is where sports betting can be done so online sports betting still could cause some issues for residents here. Online gambling is still available here but operating an online gambling facility is another issue. International online sportsbooks are the best route for all Washington residents here because this is where they can possibly place their big time bets. As far as when tribal sportsbooks will officially launch, this could take some time and could be a while before things changed.

What Teams Can I Bet On?

Washington is a state rife with solid pro and college teams on which residents of the state are interested in betting. Extremely strict gambling laws to the contrary, Washington residents’ enthusiasm for wagering on their home teams (primarily those based in and around Seattle, the most populous city) isn’t deterred in the slightest. That’s because with pro franchises like the Mariners, Seahawks, and Sounders Football Club (that’s soccer to us Americans), and elite collegiate programs like the Washington Huskies, the Washington State Cougars, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs, in the case of Washington, legal sports betting couldn’t be much better.

List Of Popular Washington Teams

Seattle Mariners – MLB Seattle Seahawks – NFL Seattle Sounders FC – MLS
Washington Huskies – NCAA Washington State Cougars – NCAA Gonzaga Bulldogs – NCAA

The Status Of Legal Sports Betting In Washington Beyond 2020

While sports betting was made legal in 2020, there is plenty that needs to be discussed between the various Tribes in the state as well as the Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC). Each Tribe can go to the commission individually to discuss their gaming compacts. That would take a ton of time to get the ball rolling for the sports betting industry if this is how the Evergreen State goes about it. As late as the Summer of 2020, Tribes were trying to group together with one another as much as possible in order to get wagering on sports launched more quickly.

But any Tribe that doesn’t want to go in on one type of compact agreement with the others is within their right to do so. As it stands, the state of Washington could see a launch of legal sportsbooks by the end of 2021 should there be no bumps in the road. Each Tribe is given their own team by the WSGC to go over what they’d like for their sportsbook offerings. Any meetings of the WSGC and the Tribes need to take place in mass quantities to come up with something that can be agreed upon so that the state of Washington can begin to legally wager on sporting events. 

Horse Racing Betting In Washington

Washington’s horse racing industry isn’t as well-developed as some other states with a mature gambling industry, with the Evergreen State having only two tracks: Emerald Downs and Sun Downs, both located in the city of Auburn. You’ll only be able to engage in any live wagering on horse racing at those two tracks, but there are a dozen authorized off-track betting facilities at different gambling facilities around the state. Horse racing betting in Washington is overseen by the state’s dedicated Horse Racing Commission, and the Commission’s website lists the locations of all these pari-mutuel off-site betting sites.

Our recommended legal Washington sports betting sites also offer the option to bet on horse racing, but they have the advantage over their counterparts based in the Evergreen State. This is because of the fact that our foreign-operated legal online sportsbooks have odds on horse races taking place all over the world, not just in the state of Washington. That’s not even getting into the other advantages that sites like Bovada, SportsBetting, and BetOnline have: online, you’ll get more comps, sports betting bonuses, and special event promotions than even the most long-standing and preeminent horse racing tracks and off-site pari-mutuel betting facilities in the US have to offer.

Daily Fantasy Sports In Washington

The Evergreen State has fairly permissive social gambling laws, all things considered, but state laws definitely crack down hard on daily fantasy sports (DFS). Seriously, playing daily fantasy sports in Washington is a no-go, and that’s because the state is the only one in the entire US that absolutely, unequivocally puts the kibosh on DFS to the extent that it does. The state’s attorney general’s office has gone so far as to arrest, charge, and prosecute an individual running a NASCAR fantasy sports operator back in 2011.

The Washington State Gambling Commission issued a statement back in ’11 after David Watkins (the owner and operator of the Fantasy Thunder site) was arrested that basically asserts that DFS is a game of chance and is thusly prohibited under state law, according to RCW 9.46.0225. This flies in the face of the federal UIGEA, which classifies DFS as a game of skill, even though players are eligible to win monetary rewards and there is certainly cross-shopping between fantasy contests and sports betting. A bill to legalize DFS in Washington was put forward during the 2015 legislative session but it wasn’t passed, despite some earnest interest from the state’s Gaming Commission.

The Outlook For Legalized Sports Betting In Washington In 2021

Washington made Tribal sportsbooks legal in 2020 but to launch such an industry takes a bit longer than if it were a commercial one, making 2021 the year for a launch. The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) needs to individually discuss compact agreements with any one of the interested Tribes in the state wanting to open up a sportsbook. That could be multiple teams having to draw up and agree on multiple sets of rules and regulations. However, the WSGC has assured sports bettors in the Evergreen State that they should see an unveiling of the sports wagering industry in 2021, likely the Fall or Winter of 2021 with a Summer launch being the best-case scenario.

What Is The Process For Legalizing Sportsbooks In Washington?

Washington residents may notice that their sports betting industry is taking much longer than other states to open and there is a reason for that. The process to legalize sports wagering doesn’t just stop once a bill becomes law when dealing with Tribal gaming. Legalizing sportsbooks was just the first of many steps that need to be taken, not just with the state government but with the Tribal Government as well. The state and the Tribes need to come to agreements on Tribal Gaming Compacts to expand into gambling on sporting events.

This can be done with each individual Tribe if need be and that only makes the process longer. Once every Tribe that wants to open a sportsbook agrees to the terms and the government officials in Washington agree to them as well, then and only then will a launch of the sports wagering market take place. That is the procedure for any change made to Tribal Gaming law in the state of Washington. At this rate, the Evergreen State is looking toward a late 2021 to early 2022 launch of local sportsbooks.

Legal Washington Sports Betting FAQs

Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In Washington?

You can bet real money on sports in Washington, but more importantly, you can win real money – but only if you’re good at picking winners, of course. There are no land-based locations to bet real money yet, but global online sportsbooks are fair game. You can deposit with these sites using cryptocurrency, wire transfers, or traditional debit/credit cards. Unfortunately, you can’t withdraw money directly onto a payment card. This is a result of the prohibitions placed on financial institutions that keep them from processing transactions related to online gambling.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In Washington?

Online sports betting is safe in Washington, even if in most forms it isn’t strictly speaking legal in the state. That’s because our top picks – Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, and 5Dimes – have to go through intense security checks in order to qualify for licensing by their home countries’ gaming authorities. Because these legal sports betting sites have to comply with these extremely strict regulations, it should give players and account holders a feeling of security knowing that they are dealing with a professional service and not an unauthorized black market bookie. Users can rest assured that their personal and financial information is safe at our recommended legal Washington sports betting websites.

Will Sports Betting In Washington Ever Be Legal?

Sports betting is now legal in Washington, although there are no licensed sportsbooks in the state yet. Betting online with an international sportsbook is completely legal, however, and is a great option for players looking to fill the gap while they wait for the full launch of state-licensed sports betting.

What Is Holding Up Washington From Launching Sports Betting?

Washington runs things a bit differently when it comes to their legal sports betting industry. Due to the fact that they are a market of Tribal establishments, each interested Tribe gets their own personal team to draw up a Gaming Compact that will include sportsbooks. There are only so many people that work in the Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) and while they are split into teams to get the work done quickly, it’s still slower than other states as there is much more individualized detail that goes into this type of industry than that of commercial sports betting businesses. The WSGC is aiming for a 2021 launch.

Will I Get Arrested For Sports Betting In Washington?

No, nobody has ever been arrested for betting on sports in Washington. Now that sports betting is legal nationwide, there is even less incentive than normal for drastic law enforcement action against individual bettors. The only way you’ll get arrested while betting on sports is if you’re betting while doing something else illegal, like stealing a car or robbing a bank.

What Is the Sports Betting Age In Washington?

Our top picks among online sportsbooks only require users to be a minimum age of 18 years old to bet on sports at their sites. The bill does not specify a legal sports gambling age, so it will presumably be at the discretion of the casinos hosting the sportsbooks. Most casinos in Washington require that patrons be at least 21, but there are a few that allow 18-year-olds.

Are There Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available In Washington?

Not only are there mobile sports betting apps available in Washington, they are some of the best sports betting apps available anywhere on the Internet. Here’s the catch (if you want to think about it as a catch): You can’t download sports betting apps for these sites from the App Store or via Google Play. Instead, you have to use the “web app” experiences provided by these sites via your mobile browser. However, this isn’t really a downside when you consider the extra attention to detail this affords the developers of these mobile sports betting apps, allowing them to make fully streamlined products for their end-users without any corporate Apple/Google oversight. The leading legal sports betting sites have fully embraced the smartphone revolution, so it behooves smart bettors to fully embrace these mobile sports betting apps.

Will Washington Have State Sanctioned Mobile Sportsbooks?

Presently, discussions for a launch of the legal sports betting industry in Washington only cover land-based establishments. However, many Tribes in the state have said they are open to mobile sportsbook offerings. Some are split on the idea of these platforms being accessible statewide or only when on Tribal ground. Either way, the door for a future of mobile state-sanctioned sportsbooks in Washington is open but retail venues in the Evergreen State need to get off the ground first.

Where Is The Best Place To Bet On Sports In Washington?

There aren’t any retail operators with sportsbooks yet, so sports betting websites are the best legal option for players right now. Some of the greatest internet sportsbooks to join are BetOnline, Bovada, SportsBetting, 5Dimes, BetDSI, BookMaker, and MyBookie to name a few.

Should I Use A Local Bookie In Washington?

It is not advisable to use a local bookie in the state. The reason being, sports betting on its own is illegal, making the business that the bookie is offering illegal as well. Placing wagers with someone that is running an illegal operation is not the smartest decision. They could take your money without honoring the wager and there is no recourse for it as you participated knowingly. It is best to stick to offshore internet sportsbooks. While they remain a gray area based on legalities, they are licensed and regulated to operate and will never stiff you on potential winnings.

Do Any Casinos In Washington Have Sports Betting?

Although land-based sports betting is legal in Washington, no casinos offer operational sportsbooks yet. The timeline for when they will launch is murky, but early-to-mid-2021 is the most likely estimate. There are plenty of online sports betting options for Washington players, but none that are operated by Washington casinos.  

Can I Bet On Sports With My Friends In Washington?

Yes, you can bet on sports with your friends either by making bets with them individually or by using online mobile sports betting sites together. The law does not expressly prohibit or permit these actions, but nobody has ever been arrested in Washington for betting on sports with their friends. Betting on sports in a pool using the “square” method is also allowed, according to RCW 9.46.0335. The square method is that method of sports betting wherein a board is divided up into 100 equal squares, each constituting a chance to win in the sports pool and each person in the pool pays an entry of $1 or less. Social card games for money are also allowed explicitly, per RCW 9.46.0351.

When Will Sports Betting Launch In Washington State?

Sports betting is now legal in Washington, but it will likely be many months before the first Washington sportsbooks open their doors to the public. With the COVID-19 crisis obstructing things even further, expect additional delays prior to launch. The most optimistic estimate would place launch time in early 2021, while a more realistic estimate would be closer to the start of the 2021 NFL season. There are 29 tribal casinos in Washington, but it is unclear how many would offer sports betting.

How Many Sportsbooks Are In Washington State?

Right now, there are zero retail sportsbooks in Washington. There could be as many as 29 once licensing fees and policies are established, as there are 29 tribal casinos operated by 22 different tribes in Washington. There are numerous online sportsbooks available to Washington residents, but these don’t really qualify as “sportsbooks in Washington.”