Dori: State throws potential $50M in sports gambling revenue to tribal casinos

Mar 4, 2020, 10:25 AM

sports betting, sports gambling...

Betting odds are displayed on a board in the sports book at the South Point hotel and casino in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Senate Bill 6394 is passing through the Senate after its companion bill passed out of the House. The bill would legalize sports gambling in Washington … but only in casinos on reservations.

How could the state of Washington not want a piece of the sports gambling business? The states that have legalized it in the last couple years, since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it, have gotten a surge in tax revenue. New Jersey just had a handle bigger than Nevada — imagine that. If you have been to those gigantic sports books in Nevada, you know how big those are.

It’s big business and it’s profitable. It would throw off a projected $50 million here in Washington — and I think that is a conservative estimate.

Yet the state of Washington said, “No, we don’t want any of that.” They’re going to give a monopoly to the tribes.

Dori: It’s time for Washington to legalize sports betting

Good job to the tribes. They obviously have the right lobbyists and have done everything right for their constituency. But for the people of this state, how could we pass up $50 million in tax revenues in the sports gambling industry?

Democrats in the Legislature are saying that sports betting could get kids addicted to gambling at a young age.

Oh, please. You market the Washington State Lottery as a field of dreams. You tell 18-year-olds to buy scratch tickets with your 50-percent house take on those. You sell the gambling dream every single day of your lives, getting teenagers addicted. And now you have the audacity to say you don’t want to get children addicted to sports betting?

The politicians say they have to raise our taxes for everything, but here is a source of millions of voluntary taxation dollars that they are doing nothing about. They are going to hand off that monopoly and not take a penny for the residents of this state.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: State throws potential $50M in sports gambling revenue to tribal casinos