Sports betting goes live at Washington State’s first tribal casino

Washington State’s sports betting market went live last week Thursday with the state’s first tribal casino opening a land-based sportsbook.

This comes after the US Department of the Interior approved several revised compacts between the state of Washington and its tribes earlier this month.

Sports betting goes live in Washington State

On Thursday at 11 am, the Snoqualmie Tribe opened its land-based sportsbook at the Snoqualmie Casino located outside of Seattle.

With this launch, the Snoqualmie Tribe became the first Washington-based tribal group to offer legal sports wagering in the state.

The Snoqualmie Casino teamed up with International Game Technology (IGT) to operate its sportsbook facility.

The sportsbook is open from 9 am to 10 pm Monday through to Thursday and between 9 am and 11 pm on Fridays. On Saturdays and Sundays, the facility will be open between 7 am to 11 pm.

However, bettors may place wagers via six kiosks outside the sportsbook 24 hours a day.

In a statement, Rebecca George, executive director at the Washington Gaming Association said: “Today’s commencement of sports betting at the Snoqualmie tribe’s casino marks an important milestone in the progress that Washington State’s tribes have made in regaining their self-reliance.

“The launch of sports betting is going to provide a real boost for tribal communities that are still working to recover from the tough impacts of COVID shutdowns. And the positive benefits will extend well beyond tribal communities themselves.

“Tribal gaming revenues not only fund critical services for long-underserved tribal communities, those revenues also bolster the overall economies of communities across Washington State.”

More tribes to launch betting

Earlier this month, the Department of the Interior approved nine sports betting compacts covering the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Lummi Nation, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, Spokane Tribe of Indians, Squaxin Island Tribe, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, Suquamish Tribe, and Tulalip Tribes.

Several other sports betting compacts between tribal groups and Washington State are awaiting approval from the Department of the Interior.

Sports betting in Washington State

Washington legalized sports betting in March 2020 after Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law permitting tribal casinos to offer land-based sports betting. The state was the first to legalize sports betting in 2020.

As a result, the tribes in the state were required to renegotiate their gaming compacts with the state, which Inslee approved in July 2021.

The first batch of compacts was approved by the Department of the Interior earlier this month.

In July, the Washington Gaming Commission unanimously approved rules relating to the licensing procedures for sports betting in the state. After receiving unanimous approval from the Commission, the rules came into effect on 30 August 2021.

Under the state’s sports betting laws, sports betting will only be permitted to take place on tribal land. This means that bettors will need to be physically located on tribal land to place a bet.

The law also allows for mobile sports betting within a gambling facility, similar to the setup in the state of Mississippi.