Washington Tribes Gain Fed OK for Sports Betting in Casinos

Washington Tribes Gain Fed OK for Sports Betting in Casinos
By Ron Fritz

Tribal casinos in Washington state could begin offering sports betting as soon as next week after receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Interior on Wednesday.

The compact amendments for the Puyallup, Tulalip, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Cowlitz, Squaxin, Suquamish, Stillaguamish and Lummi tribes were approved, according to the Seattle Times. Still pending are applications from the Muckleshoot, Swinomish, Skokomish, Kalispel, Jamestown S’Klallam, Shoalwater Bay and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Times story said.

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With the federal approval, some casinos could launch sports betting in time for the start of the NFL season on Sept. 9, according to the Times.

Tribal casinos in Washington are looking to make up for lost revenue after U.S. casinos had to shut down because of COVID last year.

The Washington Gambling Commission in June approved 15 proposed compact amendments for sports wagering on tribal lands. Gov. Jay Inslee signed off the amended compacts in early July and they were sent to feds for approval.

Under the compact amendments, sports betting is allowed at tribal casino sportsbooks and on mobile devices in the casinos.

Rules Have Been Approved

In late July, the Washington Gambling Commission gave its approval to sports betting rules and began the licensing process. The state will require in-person registration for new online wagering accounts and betting on in-state colleges is prohibited.

Also in July, gaming provider International Gaming Technology announced it would provide sports betting technology to the Snoqualmie Casino. It will help with retail and on-site only mobile sports wagering for the tribal casino outside of Seattle.

Some Casinos Could Be Ready For NFL

Washington residents might be able to bet on NFL games beginning with the season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 9. Some tribes are expected to finalize vendors and take the additional steps needed to go live next week.

When Inslee signed the compacts in early July, that gave the Interior Department 45 days to have a ruling. That set the timeline making it possible to have some betting when the NFL season begins.

In the Times story, Rebecca George, executive director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association, said sports betting going live would depend on each casino and how close the casino is to having the necessary measures in place.



Ron Fritz is a former editor for TopUSCasinos.com.

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