Will Legal Sports Betting Be Coming To Washington?
With several high-profile professional teams in the state, you’d think that legal sports betting would be coming to Washington. And you’re probably right (eventually). That said, there has been absolutely no movement in the WA state legislature to introduce any bills having to do with establishing a regulated sports wagering industry in the state.
More than anything else, this lack of activity likely has to do with Washington’s current gambling industry, which is the near-exclusive domain of the various tribes in the state. Naturally, in many states, sports betting will be rolled out at horse tracks, simulcast facilities, and off-track betting (OTB) sites, all of which Washington has in spades. However, because of the tribal compacts in the state, Washington cannot simply institute a new, lucrative form of gambling without the consent and participation of the tribal casinos.
This, financially, could be problematic, with endless debates about which entity most deserves to capitalize off of sports betting, and whether or not the tribes will allow the pastime to be mutually offered both through their facilities (with any requisite tax breaks) and state-run tracks and OTBs is anyone’s guess. It is unlikely that the state will not want its “fair share” of sports betting revenues, and – while a common understanding and exercise of the industry is in everyone’s best interests – there will undoubtedly be a lot of wrangling once the issue comes up in congress.
Right now, while it’s easy to say that most states will likely have sports betting in place within their borders in just a year’s time or so, the same cannot be said for Washington. At least, not with any real confidence.
SportsBettingWashington.com knows there’s a very real possibility that WA residents who wish to wager on the Seahawks, Mariners, and the other professional and amateur clubs in the state will have to travel to a neighboring state (or a little farther south to Nevada) or use a legal offshore sportsbook (Bovada, SportsBetting, etc.) to place their bets. Hopefully, this isn’t going to turn out to be the case, but for the foreseeable future, these alternative options are your only legal choices.
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