Is Sports Betting Legal in Washington?
The future of sports betting in Washington is in the hands of the state legislature. The Evergreen State ranks in the top 15 in population among the 50 U.S. states, which means that some big dollars could be in play if the state representatives opt to move forward. For right now, there isn’t a whole lot going on in Olympia and may not be for the foreseeable future.
The state does have casinos and also runs a state lottery. There are 29 casinos and all of them are tribal casinos run by the Native American tribes that maintain land rights in the state. Carnival games are not on the gaming floor, but most of the things you would find in a regular casino are. Not only will the state’s elected officials have to pass legislation to move forward, but they’re also going to have to do with agreements from the Indian tribes.
That does make it a little tricky. Washington is a big state with a big population, so any financial windfall added to the budget makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, Washington is somewhat isolated, in the sense that there aren’t a lot of dollars leaving the state for gambling purposes as there are in other states that are facing the same choice to legalize sports betting. Montana stopped doing it, despite being grandfathered into PASPA. Oregon is moving forward quickly and could have an app for betting before most states even get it together at physical facilities. None of Washington’s big cities, however, are near the state of Oregon. A lot of the state’s casinos are reasonable driving distance from Seattle, which could enhance the likelihood that sports betting gets passed.
For right now, Washington’s elected officials aren’t saying much, as the state is kind of in wait and see mode.
Recent News Stories About Sports Betting
Nicole Jennings of KIRO Radio talked with a few representatives regarding their thoughts on legalized sports betting and the timeframe that Washington might be looking at for a vote.
A quick audio clip from KUOW Radio in Washington touched on the topic of sports betting and what it would take to change the current laws on the books.
Things have been pretty quiet in Washington state with regards to the strike down of PASPA and what it means going forward for Washingtonians. It’s hard to put a timetable on how quickly things might happen, but for right now, it looks like sports betting isn’t coming to the forefront anytime soon. Washington may eventually adopt legal sports wagering, but it doesn’t appear to be a priority.