The state of Washington was one of a handful of states to officially launch legal sports betting this week. September 9 was the target date for markets throughout the US, as that coincided with the start of the 2021 NFL season.
The Snoqualmie Casino is the site of the first legal sports betting option in Washington, and there was a large celebration that took place earlier this week. Most of these celebrations include famous sports icons, and that was the case in the state of Washington as well.
Former Seattle SuperSonics star, Shawn Kemp, was on hand at the celebration, and he made the first bet at the sportsbook. His bet, a victory by the Seattle Seahawks in their Week 1 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
Washington has been positioning to launch legal sports betting for months, and the Snoqualmie Casino was the first one to have things in order to launch. With the recent launches by a number of states, there are now at least half of the 50 US states that have legal sports betting.
Other Tribes Expected to Launch
While the Snoqualmie Tribe was the first to launch in Washington, it won’t be the only one to launch in 2021. It’s unclear when there will be some competition coming to the Snoqualmie Tribe, but it won’t be as celebrated as this initial launch was.
There were actually eight other tribes that were approved for sports betting by the US Department of Interior, but the Snoqualmie Tribe was most prepared to launch. Seven other tribes have also applied to offer this form of gaming, and a decision on those licenses should be announced soon.
Mobile Betting Also Coming
At the Snoqualmie Casino, there are four betting windows and six self-service kiosks set up to accept wagers. The tribe was prepared to accept a large amount of wagers in anticipation of Week 1 of the NFL season, and the process should continue to improve over the next few weeks.
Online betting can be offered by the Native American tribes in Washington, but it all must be done on-site. The Snoqualmie Tribe has announced that it will not be rolling out online wagering anytime soon, but it will be an option at some point.
A Threat to Oregon
The state of Oregon was one of the states that was grandfathered in when PASPA took effect in the US, and that allowed it to offer sports betting. Oregon is a state that has been working to improve its sports betting options over the last few months, but it is still a relatively small market.
The one advantage that Oregon has is that statewide mobile sports betting is available, but that hasn’t been very attractive to bettors in the state. Now that Washington has launched the industry as well, there will be pressure on Oregon to step up its game.
Washington does have a clear advantage with having the Seattle Seahawks playing in the state as betting on the NFL is the most popular betting market in the US.