The state of Washington could soon become the latest state to offer sports betting, and things are headed in the right direction. Governor Jay Inslee continues to sign new compacts with Native American tribes in the state, adding another one earlier this week.
The State Gaming Commission has also played a role in this process as it has been reviewing the compacts and giving the final stamp of approval. Each time that this occurs, those compacts are then sent to the federal government.
The US Department of Interior reviews all-new gaming compacts that are signed, and it has 45 days to make a decision. This group has been busy since the start of 2021, as several states are attempting to legalize sports betting using the same process.
There is hope that sports betting will launch by the start of the 2021 NFL season, but time is running out. Most tribes already have things in place, but they must wait for the final stamp of approval.
16 Tribes Have Approval
There are 30 different tribal casinos located in the state of Washington, and 24 different Native American tribes run these properties. At this time, 16 tribes have been approved by the gaming commission, but more should be on the way.
This week, the Skokomish Tribe was the latest to get approved by the state. This means that legal sports betting will ultimately be coming to the Skokomish Lucky Dog Casino.
The Emerald Queen Casino has reportedly already set up a retail sportsbook onsite, and it could become one of the first to launch.
Mobile Betting Included?
Allowing Native American tribes to offer sports betting at their casinos is a big first step, but it is going to limit the overall growth of the industry. Online sports betting has carried states throughout the US, but that will only be a limited option in Washington.
The state has approved allowing mobile betting, but all of the wagers must be placed on tribal land. This has been done in other states as well, and it has kept most operators from even offering this option.
If Washington is going to see some success and revenue from this new industry, then the state will ultimately have to approve full online sports betting.
Plenty of Betting Markets
This has been a long process in approving legal sports betting, and lawmakers have spent time looking at other markets in the US. There was plenty of debate when it came to which betting markets would be legal, but Washington was able to get a big number approved.
Betting on professional and collegiate sports will be allowed, but college games taking place in the state of Washington will be prohibited. This is a decision that is popular in other states, but it is another thing that will hurt the overall growth.
Washington has approved betting on the Olympic Games, and it also legalized betting on eSports. eSports continues to grow in popularity throughout the US and will provide sportsbooks will additional options.