The Washington Senate Labor and Commerce Committee has passed a bill that would legalize land-based and online sports betting in the state.
Introduced last month, House Bill 2638, along with its companion Senate Bill 6394, would permit in-person sports wagering at tribal casinos, as well as mobile on-premises betting.
The Senate Committee yesterday (February 24) gave its approval to the bill and it will now move forward to the Senate’s Ways and Means Committee for further discussion.
Approval from the Senate Committee comes after Washington’s House last week also passed the bill by a conclusive vote of 83-14. This was primarily due to the bill being sponsored by 20 Representatives.
Should the bill become law, it would permit in-person sports wagering at tribal casinos and cardrooms, as well as mobile on-premises betting.
Players would be able to bet on any professional sports or athletics event, as well as collegiate sports, the Olympic Games and other international competitions.
While the current version of the bill does include language related to license fees and tax rates, it does not set out how much operators would pay should it come into effect.
The Washington State Gambling Commission would assume responsibility for regulating the market, including awarding the relevant licenses to operators, should the bill pass.
HB 2638 and SB 6394 are rivalling a number of other pieces of legislation, all of which are aimed at legalizing sports betting. SB 6277, also known as the Sports Wagering Act, would permit betting at authorised tribal casinos, card rooms and racetracks, as well as online, while HB 2478 sets out similar proposals.
However, SB 6277 has been with the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee since the middle of January, while HB 2478 has been with the House Commerce and Gaming Committee for a number of weeks.