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Image for Mike Lukas Mike Lukas - Updated October 14, 2022

Washington Sports Betting Regulators Approve Licensing Rules, Eying Fall Launch

Washington Sports Betting Fall Launch
  • Regulators in WA Met Wednesday and Approved Key Licensing Measures
  • State Tribal Compacts Still Awaiting Approval by U.S. Department of the Interior
  • State of Washington Eying Fall Launch Date for Legal Sports Betting

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Regulators in WA Met Wednesday and Approved Key Licensing Measures

Nothing comes easy in the world of legal sports betting as states like Washington jump the many legal hurdles required to launch sports gambling in their state, but that goal crept closer on Wednesday as Evergreen State regulators met and unanimously approved key licensing rules.

These rules establish procedures that will allow Washington gaming tribes and their sportsbook operators to gradually work towards the granting of licenses, which would be one of the last steps needed before Washington bettors can begin legally placing sports wagers.

The 15 tribal sports wagering compacts that Governor Jay Inslee signed earlier in July are unique in that they only permit retail and mobile betting within the physical gaming facilities of the tribal casino sportsbooks.

But the entire state of Washington still benefits from those operations, as the Executive Director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association Rebecca George has pointed out:

The revenues generated from Indian gaming stay in Washington, creating thousands of jobs and benefiting communities across our state.

State-Tribal Compacts Still Awaiting Approval by U.S. Dept. of the Interior

None of this matters until the U.S. Department of the Interior approves the tribal compacts and they have 45 days in which to do that.

This means that a ruling could be made by as early as the end of August but, given the red tape of the federal government, sometime in September is far more likely.

The good news for Washington punters is that the Dept. of Interior has a solid record of approving these types of compacts, having already authorized similar deals in Arizona with still others to come soon in Florida, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.

All this is a good sign that legal sports betting in Washington will be in place by the start of the upcoming NFL season in September.

Unfortunately, Washington legislators could not get legal sports betting launched in time for the Tokyo Olympics, and they are now forced to watch other states reel in the tax revenue from all the wagers fans of the games have since placed.

As Executive Director George has made clear, Washington does not want to make that same mistake when it comes to the upcoming NFL season which starts on September 9 with defending Super Bowl LV champion Tampa Bay hosting the Dallas Cowboys in what’s called the NFL Kickoff Game.

George has told the media:

People are very excited. We have worked diligently to bring sports betting to Washington by the start of football season.

Keep checking back for the latest updates on legal sports betting in Washington, we’ll bring you all the most recent coverage of this unfolding story, including when the Dept. of Interior gives their thumbs up (or down) and when licenses are beginning to be issued.

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Mike Lukas

1212 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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