Washington State Legalizes Sports Betting at Tribal Casinos

“To protect the health and well-being of the community and the casino team members, the Snoqualmie Tribe has decided to extend the temporary closure of its casino operations through April 6,” the Tribe stated Wednesday.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill yesterday allowing sports betting exclusively at Tribal casinos in Washington state. The legislation grants a tax-free monopoly to the state’s gaming Tribes. While it permits wagers on professional and college sports, bets on Washington state collegiate teams are prohibited.

READ MORE: Washington Tribal-Only Sports Betting Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk 

Naturally, those bets will have to wait, as Tribal casinos statewide have temporarily shut their doors for coronavirus prevention measures — and the entire country is waiting in limbo to see how things will play out, whether venues can resume operations within weeks or months. 

Once the coronavirus crisis subsides, the state will negotiate new compacts with the 29 Tribes that operate approximately 35 casinos across 15 counties in the state of Washington. 

Amid this economically difficult time for gaming Tribes, Rebecca Kaldor, executive director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association, underscored that the approval of the Tribal-only sports betting bill is a silver lining — ”this will be an added amenity Tribes can use to get our communities back up and running in a healthy way.’’