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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Sports Betting In Washington State

Sports betting is getting more popular due to creative and simple online platforms.  Casinos benefitted as well because betting is now legal in Washington state. Three Senators are pushing for legislation to allow for sports betting outside of tribal lands. The Senators’ stated cause for the legislation is to level the playing field. 

A new bill if passed will decrease the amount of betters having to go to a tribal casino to place a legal sports bet. Senate Bill 5587 calls for the legalization of sports wagering at cardrooms and racetracks; in addition to casinos. The bill is sponsored by Sens. Curtis King (R), Marko Liias (D), and Perry Dozier (R).

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning sports gambling in 2018. However, each state is now given the opportunity to create their own rules. Two years later, the Washington legislator decided to allow sports wagering on Native American lands only.  

The above mentioned bill introduced into the 2023 Legislative Session expands sports wagering within the state beyond tribal gaming. If approved, a sports wagering licensee would be able to operate sports pools at a racetrack or through an internet sports pool operator. A state tax of 10% would be collected from the bets. 

The total amount expected to be wagered this year is more than double the amount from last year as the legal U.S. sports betting market continues to grow. More than half of all American adults live in a market where sports betting is legal. 

Last session, before the pandemic damaged the economy, lawmakers approved sports gambling for Native American tribes, but that has yet to take effect as government compacts are still being negotiated. Lawmakers at the same time rejected a bill seeking to open sports gambling to non-tribal competition. 

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