Sports Betting Is Now Legal In Washington State

The Department of Interior has had a busy summer approving gaming compacts between states and Native Americans. On Wednesday, Washington State joined the list.

DOI approved modifications to existing compacts between the state and nine tribes — the Puyallup, Tulalip, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Cowlitz, Squaxin, Suquamish, Stillaguamish, and the Lummi. 

DOI also approved applications from nearly a half dozen other tribes.

“We’ve worked diligently with the Washington State Gambling Commission, the Snoqualmie Gaming Commission and our vendors for them to submit license applications and are currently on track for the opening week of the 2021 NFL season,” Stanford Le, president and CEO of the Snoqualmie Casino, said in an email to the Seattle Times after Wednesday’s announcement.

In a separate interview with the McClatchy news service last week Le said he hoped his casino, which is the closest to the Seattle area, would be up and running soon and that they had been preparing for this action by DOI.

“A lot of hard work went into protecting the consumers, the casinos and the game integrity itself… by the Washington State Gaming Commission, Snoqualmie Gaming Commission and employees. We want to make sure it’s a good experience and gaming is fun and safe,” Le said.

No Other Sportsbooks Allowed

Unlike Florida and Connecticut which expect to have mobile sportsbooks, sports betting in Washington will be done at the various brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the state. 

Washington lawmakers passed sports betting legislation in 2020, but it took nearly a year to iron out the logistics with tribal casinos.  

Washington state does not allow mobile sports betting — that activity is illegal under state law — so special geofencing will be established around the parameters of the casinos allowing bets to only take place on and from the tribal server.

About the Author
Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today with a focus on legislation and political content. Mary is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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