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DoI approves three more Washington state sports betting tribal compacts


The United States Department of Interior (DoI) has approved three further sports betting compacts for the Muckleshoot, Colville and Shoalwater Bay tribes.

The three tribes were among 11 that agreed sports wagering compact agreements with the Washington State Gambling Commission in May. This was allowed after House Bill 2638, which authorizes in-person sports betting at class III tribal gaming facilities, was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee in March 2020.

“Tribal gaming is highly regulated gaming, and our tribal sports betting operations will meet the same high standards that have governed other forms of tribal gaming here in Washington,” the Washington Indian Gaming Association (WIGA) said. “Our tribes are justifiably proud of our stellar record of offering safe and responsible gaming at our casinos.”

Nine other tribes had already received approval last week, allowing them to start taking wagers. Four more tribes still await approval for their compacts.

In addition to the approval, the Commission reached a tentative agreement with the Muckleshoot tribe regarding an amendment to its class III gaming compact, which would see a number of provisions put in place for tribes.

Several of the changes include alterations to facility operations. One of the major changes will allow the operation of 125 gaming tables in one facility, or in a combination of two facilities.

Another change includes permitting 4,000 gaming terminals in one facility or two combined facilities, a considerable increase from the 2,500 previously stipulated, along with $30 wagers at operating player terminals.

The amendment also addresses customer play. Credit will now be extended to qualified customers if they meet screening conditions. All players who wish to receive credit must complete a tribal credit application and be made aware of problem gambling information. Players may be refused credit if they have a history of problem gambling or had previously been banned due to self-exclusion.

Additional funding will also directed to problem gambling treatment and charitable contributions.

Further changes must not take place until six months after the Problem Gambling Taskforce completes its report.

Framework will also be added to approve a state-wide area progressive in connection with the Tribal Lottery System, which will also be subjected to new security features.

The Senate Labor and Commerce Committee will hold a public hearing on the amendment on October 5. Following this, the House Commerce and Gaming Committee will hold its own public hearing on October 8.

The Gaming Commission will take a vote at its meeting on October 14. The Commission will then forward the Tribe’s amendment to the Tribal Chair, if they vote to do so.

If approved by the Tribal Chair, and the Governor, the amendment will be published in the Federal Register by the DoI and become law.

“This compact amendment represents a great opportunity for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and their gaming operations, offering customers unique opportunities,” said Bud Sizemore, chairman of the Washington Gambling Commission.

“It’s the result of comprehensive negotiations between the Washington State Gambling Commission and Muckleshoot Gaming Agency and Tribal government.”

In June, Washington’s Gambling Commission reached a tentative agreement with the Skokomish Indian Tribe to add wagering to its gaming compact.