Washington is moving ahead with sports betting at tribal casinos as Governor Jay Inslee signed WA HB 2638 into law this week. Unfortunately, the excitement over this landmark occasion for the state has been overshadowed by the pandemic the world faces.
Right now the tribal casinos are shuttered up due to the fear of COVID-19 spreading even further, so they are suffering huge loses each and every day. While this bill won’t change the fact that there are no sports to bet on at the moment, it at least provides the guarantee that sports betting will be offered.
Tribes Count on the Revenue Gambling Brings In
Right now the state’s tribes bring in around $2.8 billion annually on legalized gambling. This money is then used to fund services in their various communities within the state. Rebecca Kaldor, Executive Director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association, commented on this new law:
“It feels timely that everything we’ve been saying is funded by our [tribal] government gaming is now in jeopardy. And so, the silver lining is that this will be an added amenity tribes can use to get our communities back up and running in a healthy way.’’
Legalized sports betting isn’t unique to the state of Washington as it now becomes the 21st state to allow it. Many have already forged the path thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling back in May 2018, which overturned a federal law that prohibited legalized gambling.
To say the floodgates were opened feels like an understatement as more and more states rush to push through their own legislation and get their own cut of the pie so to speak.
An Uncertain Time for Sports Betting
Despite the uncertainty on when sports will be available again, the tribal casinos wanted guarantees on their part. They wanted to know that once sports betting was available that they would be the only ones to provide it in their establishments.
There is also the question of the sports-gaming compacts, which still needs to be discussed and negotiated by both parties.
For now it doesn’t look like much progress will be made in terms of discussions, but once the health crisis has subsided the plan is to get back to the table as soon as possible.
Something to Look Forward to After the Health Crisis
So while the country may be nowhere near thinking about professional sports and when they will be back in full effect, at least the fact that sports gambling is now legal is giving many in the state of Washington something to be excited about.
However, bettors need to make sure they understand what they’re allowed to do. This law only permits sports betting on tribal casino properties. Additionally, there’s no online or mobile betting allowed.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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