Although the authorization of ESHB 2638 is a vital step forward for the state’s sports betting market, it could still be months before tribal casinos are able to begin sports betting operations with the current impact of COVID-19.
The state must also negotiate sports gaming compacts with the tribes that wish to have sports betting in their casinos.
Rebecca Kaldor, Washington Indian Gaming Association Executive Director, said: “We thank Governor Inslee for joining bipartisan majorities in the legislature to pass this careful and thoughtful approach to sports betting.
“The revenue generated by tribal gaming funds critical needs in our communities and it enhances the lives of both tribal and nontribal Washingtonians.
“Tribal communities and governments are currently dealing with the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, with many tribal governments focusing on essential services and shutting down business activities such as casinos.
“As we recover from this crisis, the addition of this amenity will help tribal governments fund the essential services their members will need to get back up on their feet.”
Washington becomes the 21st state in which some form of sports betting is either active or awaiting launch.