Washington’s answer to pandemic-hit economy: Legal Poker & Sports Betting

by Ciaran McEneaney - Sunday, January 17th, 2021 8:38

Capital One Arena, Washington
Capital One Arena, Washington

In the USA where gambling laws create a patchwork of regulated and unregulated gaming states, a new push is underway to bolster legal sports-betting in Washington state – beyond what is available at tribal casinos.

On Wednesday the Senate filed a Bill (SB-5212) which could increase the scope of allowed gambling to include card-rooms and racetracks which are licensed by Washington State.

The Bill, co-sponsored by Senator Curtis King (R-Yakima) and majority floor leader Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood), would apply only to existing card rooms and racetracks.

The Bill is now a bi-partisan drive with the goal of generating revenues via operator taxation which can in turn be used to assist with the state’s response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legal sportsbetting in Washington

Last spring Native American tribes were authorized to process sports bets, but as government compacts are still being negotiated this has not happened yet.

Maverick Gaming pushed a republican endorsed Bill to Lawmakers last winter which argued that the state would benefit financially through taxation beyond tribal casinos – only to meet rejection.

Now the world is a different place, and regulators all around the US will probably look at regulation to help reduce damage to local economies.

Ciaran McEneaney

Ciaran has a decade of experience writing for some of the biggest names in the eSports, poker, and casino industries.