Washington State Sports Betting

GamingToday.com is an independent sports news and information service. GamingToday.com has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. When you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site, Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

For more information, please read How We Rank Sportsbooks, Privacy Policy, or Contact Us with any concerns you may have.

Gaming Today is licensed and regulated to operate in CO, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, and VA.

Washington online sports betting could become legal based on a series of agreements with tribes to allow both mobile betting and retail sports betting on tribal lands.

Washington State legalized sports betting at its tribal casinos in March 2020, setting the stage for sportsbooks on tribal land pending amended tribal-state compact agreements reached with the state. The first tentative mobile sports betting deal was reached with the Tulalip Tribes in April 2021, followed by a tentative deal with the Suquamish tribe in May 2021.

Two more deals were announced on May 12, 2021, when the Kalispel and Snoqualmie tribes signed tentative agreements with the state to allow them to offer retail betting through their casinos. 

At least a dozen other Washington State tribes are expected to pursue their own sports betting deals in the days ahead. 

The compact amendments are expected to be finalized by the tribes, state, and federal government in advance of the 2021 football season. 

Washington State Sports Betting Recent Events

April 16, 2021 – The Tulalip Tribes and the Washington State Gambling Commission announce a tentative deal to allow the state’s first sportsbook to open at one of two Tulalip casinos north of Everett, WA. 

The Tulalip Tribes are expected to submit a map to the state commission that will outline how mobile sports betting will be “geofenced,” or restricted, to casino properties. That could, potentially, open up access to mobile sports betting apps at tribal hotels and other properties next to the casinos.

May 3, 2021 – A tentative sports betting agreement is announced between the state and the Suquamish Tribe. The deal would amend the tribe’s gaming compact with the state to allow sports betting at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort. 

Sources say DraftKings, FanDuel, and William Hill have shown interest in helping the tribes launch their sportsbooks — possibly by 2021 NFL kick-off.  

Legalization of Sports Betting in Washington State 

The Washington State Legislature legalized sports betting at tribal casinos in March 2020 with the passage of House Bill 2638. Governor Jay Inslee signed the bill into law on March 25, 2020. 

The bill moved quickly through the legislative process despite stiff opposition from a Nevada card room company that had argued specifically against an emergency clause on the bill. An emergency clause allows legislation to take effect as soon as it becomes law which, the company argued, prevented a public referendum on the matter. 

Sports betting legalization in Washington State came less than two years after the US Supreme Court struck down the federal PASPA in May 2018. That decision opened the door for states outside of Nevada to legalize sports wagering within their borders.

All tribes interested in operating sports betting at their casinos must agree to a sports wagering amendment to each tribe’s federally required tribal-state gaming compact agreement. The first of those agreements was tentatively reached with the Tulalip Tribes in April 2021. 

Timeline for Washington State Sports Betting

Tribal, state, and federal approval is needed before sports betting can launch in Washington State. 

Legislative hearings will be held on the tentative Class III compact deals in Olympia later this spring, followed by a state regulatory vote on June 10, 2021.

Once approved by the Washington State Gambling Commission, the amended compacts will go to the tribal chairs and Gov. Jay Inslee for approval before being sent to Washington D.C. for final approval and publication. 

About the Author

Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, she has been known to watch UK basketball from time to time.

Get connected with us on Social Media