Washington casino sports book expected to reap millions over next five years

Nov 16, 2021, 3:46 PM | Updated: Nov 17, 2021, 9:42 am
sports book...
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

With Washington tribes having cleared the requisite legal hurdles, the state is now open for sports betting. Experts predict its sports book is on track to become a $94 million industry over the next five years.

Tulalip Tribe reaches deal for first sports betting contract in Washington

That information, courtesy of a study conducted by Washington State University, checked the state’s pulse on the idea of opening up its wallet to bet on their favorite teams. The university found that 14% of those surveyed are “likely” to participate in the emergent industry.

“When you think about recreational activities, participation from 14% of the population is significant,” wrote Kahlil Philander in a news release. Philander is the study’s principal investigator and an assistant professor in the School of Hospitality Business Management at WSU Everett.

The study found that the interest in casino sports betting mirrored that of online gambling.

“Sports organizations and media companies like ESPN and Fox have developed their own national betting brands,” he continued. “Meanwhile, typical gambling brands like DraftKings and BetMGM are all over social media and national television advertising. Washington is just starting to learn what the industry will look like in this state.”

The state Legislature approved sports betting in 2020, and tribal casinos began offering it in the fall. Currently, nine tribes are approved. However, only the Snoqualmie Tribe has begun offering sports betting as of September 2021.

There are a number of caveats, however. One cannot bet on in-state collegiate teams, and betting from remote locations is not permissible (online betting is allowed on tribal grounds).

The WSU study indicated that if the state were to open up its regulations and allow for a remote option, the revenue forecast would more than triple, generating $322 million annually.

Philander, as well as WSU doctoral student Lu Yuan and Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC of Irvine, California, contributed to the study.


Correction: A previous version of this report erroneously included that one cannot bet on collegiate teams. One is not allowed to bet on in-state collegiate teams, specifically.

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Washington casino sports book expected to reap millions over next five years