Washington regulator approves sports betting at tribal casinos

Amendments now require the state governor's signature.
Amendments now require the state governor's signature.

Amendments to allow sports betting at tribal casinos in Washington have been sent to the governor’s desk for its approval.

US.- The Washington State Gambling Commission has approved amendments to gambling compacts for 15 Native American tribes, paving the way for them to offer sports betting at their casinos.

The amendments have now been sent to Governor Jay Inslee for his approval. If the governor signs them off, the amendments will go to the federal government for final approval.

Tribes push for the approval of sports betting in Washington State

During the vote, members of tribes spoke of the financial benefits of gambling and said sports betting would boost revenues that are used to support a wide variety of social programs.

They said sports betting would create more jobs for Washingtonians as happened in the past with casinos.

The Tulalip Tribes told the commission that tribes are collectively the seventh-largest employer in the state, with non-Indians making up 70 per cent of the workforce.

Jaison Elkins, chairman of the Muckleshoot Tribe, said: “The effects of poverty, neglect and disease are not easily overcome. We use every dollar from gaming.”

The tribes whose request to allow sports betting was forwarded to the governor are the Tulalip, Suquamish, Kalispel, Snoqualmie, Colville, Cowlitz, Jamestown S’Kallam, Lummi, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Shoalwater Bay, Spokane, Squaxin Island, Stillaguamish and Swinomish tribes.

The road towards the legalisation of sports betting

Sports betting at tribal casinos became an option after a 2018 decision by the US Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law that banned commercial sports betting in most states.

Following that decision, the Washington Legislature last year passed House Bill 2638 to allow sports gambling at tribal casinos.

The bill passed by the legislature would allow gambling on major league professional sports, the Olympic Games and other international events.

There would also be betting on college sports, with the exception of no betting on games involving in-state schools. There will be no online or mobile gaming options outside the walls of tribal casinos.

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Washington State Gambling Commission