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Tulalip Tribe reaches deal for first sports betting contract in Washington

Sports betting could finally be expanded in Washington in 2021. (Getty Images)

The Washington State Gambling Commission has now reached a tentative deal that would allow the Tulalip Tribe to host and facilitate sports betting at licensed casinos.

Should Washington state allow sports betting?

This would mark the first sports betting contract agreement in the state, and it comes after a year of negotiating.

“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,” Washington State Gambling Commission Chair Bud Sizemore said in a written release.

In practice, this would allow betting on professional and collegiate sports, as well as on Olympic games and e-sports competitions, provided it takes place on-site at authorized Tulalip Tribe casinos.

“We are extremely satisfied with the compact amendment and our ability to work together with the State on this effort to maintain a strong regulatory environment for gaming in Washington State,” said Tulalip Chairwoman Teri Gobin.

There are still some state and federal procedures and approvals to go through before the contract would take effect. That will include legislative hearings in the Senate labor committee, a vote from the state gambling commission in June 2021, subsequent approval from the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and then final publishing in the Federal Register.

Advocates believe effort to expand WA sports betting has momentum

This comes despite a separate sports gambling bill failing to pass out of the state Legislature for the second year in a row this session. SB 5212 had sought to allow betting on professional sports in existing licensed, privately-owned cardrooms and racetracks.

Advocates for the bill argued that it would would yield millions in revenue for the state. But despite early support from both sides of the political aisle, the bill died in committee and never proceeded to a vote.

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