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

15 Washington State Gambling Commission Backed Amendments Signed by Gov. Inslee

Washington Gambling Commission
  • 15 Washington State Gambling Commission Backed Amendments Signed by Gov. Inslee
  • What These Amendments Could Mean to Washington Sports Bettors
  • Next Steps: Tribal Leaders’ Signatures, Then Federal Review and Approval

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15 Washington State Gambling Commission Backed Amendments Signed by Gov. Inslee

In an ongoing effort to launch sports betting in Washington State’s tribal casinos, Governor Jay Inslee just signed the recently proposed compact amendments with 15 native American tribes, plus another amendment with an additional tribe is expected on his desk shortly.

In March 2020, Washington State legalized sports betting at its tribal casinos, a law that allows betting on professional, collegiate, international, Olympic, and e-sports, though bets on in-state college teams, minor league sports, and high school or youth sports are forbidden.

By the following spring of 2021, various tentative mobile and retail sports betting agreements were made with the Tulalip, Kalispel, Snoqualmie, and Suquamish Tribes, with forwarding momentum fully dependent on amended tribal-state compact agreements reached with the state.

Last week, Gov. Inslee moved legal sports betting in WA one step further by signing off on fifteen of these amendments that were created back in June.

What These Amendments Could Mean to Washington Sports Bettors

These various amendments to each of the tribes’ gambling compacts make clear how wagering is to be handled in casinos as well as in adjacent hotels, conference centers and entertainment venues.

For example, under the proposed compact amendments, bets will be allowed in a Vegas-like sportsbook environment and at certain kiosks on tribal gaming floors.

Also, gamblers will be encouraged to set up online accounts to place bets from a mobile device from anywhere on the tribal casino properties, which includes hotel and conference rooms and night clubs and whatever other venues are directly attached to tribal lands.

Inslee’s signatures on these compact amendments allow them to move forward to the next steps in the legal sports betting process.

Next Steps: Tribal Leaders’ Signatures, Then Federal Review and Approval

At this point, the leader of each tribe will need to sign their respective compact amendment, a step that is expected to happen quickly given these amendments already have tribal approval.

Then each tribal leader must send each signed compact amendment to the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior who has 45 days to review the material and eventually list it in the Federal Register.

If after that period no action by the department is taken, the compact is considered approved and it would be published on the very next day, then it would be up to individual tribes to launch their individual sports betting operations.

All this to begin generating revenue essential to all the citizens of Washington State, including those in native communities who Washington Indian Gaming Association Executive Director Rebecca Kaldor says have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Kaldor told the press:

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.

Not to mention it could lead the way to creating some $50 million annually in WA state tax revenue by eventually authorizing sports gambling beyond tribal venues, a shift quite a few state lawmakers and industry experts now seem to favor.

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Mike Lukas

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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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