he Washington State Gambling Commission on Wednesday unanimously voted to approve sports wagering licensing rules that will become effective on August 30, 2021.
This approval will allow licenses to be issued to vendors who have completed the licensing process on or after that date. Vendors will need to have licenses approved by tribal gaming agencies and the Gambling Commission before they can begin providing services to tribal sportsbooks, according to an official press release issued Wednesday, following a virtual meeting.
Tribal casinos can launch sports betting in the state when sports wagering compact amendments are approved by the U.S. Department of Interior, which has 45 days from official compact receipt to make a decision. Currently, 16 tribes have signed new deals with Gov. Jay Inslee for this activity before the federal agency for review and approval: the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Kalispel Tribe of Indians, Lummi Nation, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, Spokane Tribe, Squaxin Island Tribe, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, Suquamish Tribe, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Tulalip Tribe of Washington, and Skokomish Indian Tribe.
“I am very grateful for all the hard work Commission staff put into getting these rules finalized since we reached agreements with our Tribal regulatory partners in May,” said Washington State Gambling Commission Chair Bud Sizemore.
“This ushers in a new era for regulated sports wagering in Washington State and Washington citizens will be able to access Tribal sportsbooks of the highest integrity in the near future. My hope is that the completion of these licensing rules will allow us to work more closely with our Tribal and national regulatory partners and local sports teams and leagues to better address the sports wagering black market so that we can continue to protect the public by keeping gambling legal and honest,” he added.
Washington State was the first state in 2020 to enact a new sports wagering law. The Gambling Act contains all sports wagering state laws, including additional money laundering and sport integrity provisions to protect gambling and sporting events occurring in the state and around the country.
There are 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington State, all of which have a Class III gaming compact with 22 tribes operating 29 gaming facilities in the state.
Federal and state law prohibits statewide mobile wagering, meaning Washington bettors must travel to a tribal gaming facility to place a bet.