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Suquamish Tribe reaches agreement for sports betting contract in Washington

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

Sports betting could begin at tribal casinos in Washington state by next fall.

The Washington Indian Gaming Association says two tribes — the latest being the Suquamish Tribe — have now reached tentative agreements with the state gambling commission and it expects more agreements in the near future.

Tulalip Tribe reaches deal for first sports betting contract in Washington

“Today’s announcement that the Suquamish Tribe is the second tribe to reach a tentative agreement on a compact with the state to allow sports wagering at their casino is another strong indication that our carefully regulated system of tribal gaming is working,” said Rebecca George, Executive Director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association (WIGA).

The commission reached a tentative deal in mid-April with the Tulalip Tribe to host and facilitate sports betting at licensed casinos. It was the first sports betting contract agreement in the state, and it comes after a year of negotiating.

In practice, the agreements 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 tribal casinos.

“Over the last three decades, tribes have built a strong partnership with the state to build a system that creates a range of gaming opportunities for the public at a limited number of tribal casinos while protecting against the negative social consequences that would result if gambling were expanded in our neighborhoods,” George said. “We expect more announcements soon about additional Tribe-State agreements. And we’re looking forward to offering sports wagering at tribal facilities across the state as soon as this fall.”

There are state and federal procedures and approvals to go through before the contracts 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.

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