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Sports betting legalized in Washington after tribal compacts approved


Sports betting has officially been legalized in Washington after the US Department of the Interior approved nine tribal sports betting compacts yesterday (September 1).

The approval has been published in the Federal Register, meaning it is officially part of Washington State law.

The publication comes just before the National Football League (NFL) and college football seasons are set to begin.

The nine tribal sports betting compacts have been agreed with the Cowlitz, Lummi, Puyallup, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Squaxin, Stillaguamish, Suquamish and Tulalip tribes.

The Cowlitz, Lummi, Puyallup, Spokane, and Stillaguamish tribes reached the initial Class III gaming compact agreement with Washington state in May.

The Tulalip, Suquamish, Kalispel and Snoqualmie tribes agreed to the compact earlier in the year.

A further seven compacts are set to be approved in the coming days.

“This marks a major milestone in Washington State’s Native American tribes’ efforts to strengthen the self-reliance of our tribal communities,” said Rebecca George, executive director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association.

“This approval marks the completion of critical regulatory step toward to launching sports betting on the premises of tribal casinos. We now expect the availability of safe and regulated sports betting to begin at tribal casinos across Washington State in the next few months.” 

Following negotiations, Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2638 into law in March 2020, approving in-person sports betting at Class III gaming facilities.