It’s Now Possible that Washington Will Allow Sports Betting Operations in the State

Interior of sports book gambling


When it comes to the rise of popularity of the sports betting industry in the United States, the ruling of the Supreme Court over the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 in May 2018 is to be thanked for.

In May 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to strike PASPA down after the state of New Jersey challenged it. New Jersey was moving towards the legislation of local sports betting operations in the state and this had to be done. Since then, many states followed and moved towards the legislation and regulation of local sports betting.

Federally, it has always been illegal to run local sports betting operations because of PASPA. Only four states were excused from this because of pre-existing laws that allow them to offer betting odds. These four states are Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware. 

Other than those, Americans were and still are placing their bets online on offshore casinos. However, this does pose some risks as jurisdictions outside the country are different and it could be hard to be protected and bet safely. This is why it’s important to place bets on reputable online casinos only. SilentBet is a good site to check for online casino reviews to help find the best ones out there. 

Currently, there are now 20 states that have signed sports betting into law and some of these states are New Jersey, Mississippi, New York, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Some of these states only allow in-person betting while most of these allow both in-person and online betting operations. Only the state of Tennessee has signed a bill that allows only online betting within its territory.

Meanwhile, there are still states that remain unmoved when it comes to this. Utah is an example and Washington too, but recent developments now make it seem like Washington will eventually hop on the sports betting industry wagon.

Senator Curtis King of Yakima is sponsoring one of the four bills concerning sports betting in the state of Washington to be pushed by the House Committee. This bill will allow sports betting in the tribal casinos, small non-tribal casino card rooms, and horse racing tracks that the state already has.

This means that online betting is a bit out of the picture as of now. However, the bill allows the licensed casinos to have their own apps that can only be accessible within the premises of a casino. 

This still matters a lot to the betting industry as Washington is one of the states that are not too keen on allowing the operations of local gambling activities within its territory. 

Senator King believes that sports wagering should be controlled as it’s definitely present in the state even if it’s illegal. He said, “Sports wagering is going on in this state right now, but it’s not controlled. We need to develop a system by which it is controlled.”

Maverick Gaming is also backing King up. This is a multistate company that owns 19 card rooms in the state of Washington and so this makes a lot of sense.  This company is spending money to help push for the widespread of betting in the United States. 

Reports said that Maverick Gaming is spending 20,000 US dollars on a lobbying firm in Olympia to spend on legislative campaign committees during elections. 

Vicki Christophersen, a Maverick lobbyist in Olympia shared her thoughts about this and said, “All communities should benefit from this. We’re seeing across the nation the legalization of sports betting and the tax revenue that could come with that. The state can realize revenue as well as our partners in the tribes and in Indian Country.”

The tribal casinos appear to be fine with this as well. Pallyup’s tribal chairman, David Bean, is also in favor of this as long as it has limited and restricted availability in the state. His reasoning is this, “One thing we do not want to see is we do not want our children having access to online, mobile gaming. We do not want our college students subjected to that type of pressure, that type of access — anything that would distract them from learning.”

The same thoughts are also expressed by the people in the education sector. Chris Reykdal, the state schools’ superintendent is vocal about prohibiting online betting in the state. 

He spoke about this and said, “The ‘You must be 18, click here,’ or ‘You must be 21,’ students are blowing right through that [warning] to access pornography, violence and to access gaming. I would urge you not to expand any form of gaming in this state in any way until there are sufficient software and technology that is actually going to keep young people from accessing it.”


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