According to a poll revealed by the Washington Indian Gaming Association

Nearly half of Washington residents oppose sports betting at cardrooms

Cardroom operator Maverick Gaming operates several cardrooms in Washington state.
Reading time 1:32 min
The new statewide polling, conducted by FM3 Research for WIGA, shows that 41% of Washington voters support in-person sports betting at non-tribal card rooms. Most respondents believe the state has an adequate number of gambling facilities to meet the public’s needs.

The Washington Indian Gaming Association (WIGA) revealed Tuesday the results of a recent statewide poll that shows public's strong support for the state’s existing system tribal gaming, and opposition against expanding in-person sports betting at neighborhood card rooms or mini-casinos.

The Washington State constitution requires 60% supermajority support – either legislatively or from the public via a ballot measure – for any expansion of gambling. The new polling, conducted by FM3 Research, shows that nearly half (48%) of the public oppose allowing card rooms across the state to offer sports betting, while only 41% supports in-person sports betting at non-tribal card rooms. 

A majority of Washington voters back the state law passed last year that legalizes in-person sports betting at Indian casinos, by nearly a two-to-one margin (53% to 29%). In addition, 76% of Washington voters hold a favorable opinion of the state’s Native American Indian Tribes, and just one in ten view the tribes unfavorably. They broadly support legalized gaming and are in favor of tribes owning and operating casinos on tribal lands, by more than four-to-one.

Rebecca George, Executive Director of the WIGA, stated: “Over the last three decades, Washington tribes have partnered with the State of Washington to build a safe, limited and carefully regulated gaming system in our state, with the proceeds going to fund important public services for historically marginalized and underserved Native American communities. As this polling data demonstrates, the public in Washington State supports tribal gaming and the benefits it provides, and understands that a major expansion of gaming in non-tribal card rooms would undermine that system in order to siphon profits into the coffers of out-of-state investors.” 

Cardroom operator Maverick Gaming has said it would spend between $20 million - $30 million on a possible ballot initiative and other lobbying and advocacy to legalize sports betting at card rooms in Washington State. "Maverick has the backing of a deep-pocketed out-of-state hedge fund focused on gambling investments, and in February funneled an additional $1 million into a campaign committee, raising their war chest to $2 million," the WIGA said.

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