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Washington state agrees wagering deal with Skokomish tribe


Washington state’s gambling commission reached a tentative agreement to add wagering to the gaming compact with the Skokomish Indian Tribe, in the latest sports wagering agreement between the state and one of its tribes.

The agreement concludes a nearly year-long negotiation process between the Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) and the tribe after Governor Inslee signed ESHB 2638 authorizing sports wagering at Tribal Casinos.

In a statement, WSGC officials said this first sports wagering compact agreement in the state and amendment establishes the framework for sports wagering at Skokomish’s facilities. The tribe operates the Lucky Dog Casino Class III gaming facility located north of the city of Shelton, around 90 miles from Seattle.

Both partners said they are hopeful wagering can be introduced before the start of the National Football League season in September.

“We believe that this compact amendment is a thoughtful approach by the tribe and state that ensures sports wagering will be conducted with the highest integrity while protecting the public by keeping gambling legal and honest,” said WSGC chair Bud Sizemore.

“The state and tribal negotiation team did a great job coming to this agreement. There is still a lot of work before the first regulated sportsbook opens in our state, and I’m hopeful sports wagering can launch before the NFL regular season begins.”

In March 2020, sports wagering was authorized as a tribal only activity to occur at the Tribe’s Class III gaming facility. This amendment continues the current Tribe-State co-regulatory structure while addressing the areas specified by the state legislature – licensing, regulatory fees, operation and regulation of sports wagering, criminal enforcement, money laundering, sport integrity, and responsible problem gambling.

The tentative agreement must now go through a state and federal approval process, beginning with joint legislative hearings in early July.

“The addition of sports wagering as an option provides the Skokomish Indian Tribe the opportunity to expand its offerings and customer base, and thus provide for greater financial security for the Tribe,” said Charles Miller, Skokomish’s chairman.