Will Washington Ever Have Legal Online Sports Betting?

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By now you might be wondering whether or not Washington will witness its own legalized sports betting market anytime soon, or will it take another year or two?

It was during this March that state allowed Tribal casinos to operate. However, nothing has moved since then.

Whether it was due to the pressing demand for increasing tax revenue or simply listening to the ever-increasing demands of residents, legalized sports betting has gained momentum since 2019 for Washington.

Yet, all traces of that momentum have disappeared as sports players residing in Washington are perturbed over the future of legalized sports betting. Most of them are clamoring for legalized sports betting in Washington.

Much Needs to Happen First

For now, much is happening behind the scenes, and most efforts are converging into legalizing the Tribal sports betting market in the state.

There are 29 different tribes in Washington, and the State’s Gambling Commission (WSGC) have to work with each one of them to ensure rules and regulations are formulated that suit all needs and expectations.

However, the active involvement of so many stakeholders has made the agreements further complicated. A WSGC spokesperson stated that the specifics are being ironed out currently with many of the tribes.

The Commission seeks to work painstakingly on ensuring that all negotiations are constructed on the foundation of their five pillars, which are:

“Licensing and Regulation; Money Laundering and Criminal Enforcement; Agency Funding; Responsible and Problem Gambling, Sports and Gambling Integrity.

Seeking Out Sports Betting Operators

The General Manager of 7 Cedars Casino and Resort, Glenn Smithson, told the media that the discussions with the WSGC are underway on a weekly basis. Moreover, tribal casinos are also meeting with different global operators about partnerships for sports betting:

“Many sports betting operators are taking a look at the Washington market; however, it is too early to reveal who our partner will be. All of them have their specialties, but surely, partnering with them and the right provider is very crucial to the success of each casino and this exciting new gaming feature on the horizon in the state of Washington.”

Most tribal casinos realize that the entities like DraftKings and FanDuel already have exalted platforms that can enable the casinos to hit the ground running when the sport betting kicks-off. Moreover, they might also provide excellent betting opportunities to targeted clients.

When Will Sports Betting Go Live in Washington?

Besides cobbling up partnerships with sports betting operators and concluding regulations with the state, tribes are also requesting for personal fortunes in the industry.

It is reportedly these propositions that have been seizing up the progress for sports betting going live.

Most analysts believe that the first quarter of the following year will be the earliest to witness live sports betting in Washington.

It is hoped that that tribes may come to a mutual understanding of universal requests to gear up this process. If it doesn’t, then the last quarter could be a more likely timeline for the Washington sports betting industry.

And, Mobile Sports Betting in Washington?

If you review the states with increased sports betting handles and tax revenues, most of them are those with mobile betting.

Unluckily, mobile sports betting in Washington is banned by state law.

The issue of online sports betting has arisen in the discussions between WSGC and tribes. Until now, the tribes are divided over how and when to incorporate mobile betting in the future.

Ironically, even if they reach a consensus for mobile sports betting, it will be an enduring process. It will require amendments to state laws and Tribal gaming compacts in order to include mobile sports betting.

However, if tribes await the incorporation of online betting, then the sports betting industry in Washington could be postponed until 2022.

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