Washington Moves One Step Closer to Legalized Sports Betting


It seems sports betting is finally headed to the state of Washington thanks to a Thursday night vote that paved the way for the long-awaited development. When the vote was presented to the full House floor, they voted overwhelmingly to approve the bill. HB2638, the bill in question was approved by an 83-14 vote just a couple of days after it was given the green light to proceed by the House Appropriations Committee. Now, seems like it is headed for possible passage into law in the spring.

“Incredibly proud of the strong 83-14 bipartisan vote. We have found a good middle path that supports our tribal partners, allows adults to safely access sports betting and protects our youth,” Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, the sponsor of the bill said earlier in the week.

The next stage for the bill is a Senate committee even though the Senate itself has a companion bill that it also needs to send to the House. Putting that into consideration, the state’s lawmakers will have two options to get a bill to the governor in order to be signed into law.

What Should Sports Bettors Expect?

Well, to begin with, if all goes well, Washington will become the 22nd state in the country to legalize and regulate sports betting. The activity has been growing quite quickly in the Keystone State and now that Washington is next in line, we should expect to see even more growth going forward.

When it passes, the new sports betting law will allow the state to get into compacts with tribal casinos who will be the only ones allowed to operate Las Vegas-style sportsbooks. They will be authorized to offers odds and betting lines on both professional and collegiate sports with the only exceptions being games that involved public and private universities in the state.

What About Online Gambling

Well, as it stands, the bill that is set to be passed in the spring only allows for sports betting to be conducted within the confines of the tribal casinos – Washington currently has close to 30 of them. Unfortunately, online gambling is still classified as a felony by the state’s very tough anti-gambling laws.

However, it is worth noting that House Bill 2638 has a clause that covers online gambling but this is also only allowed within the confines of the state’s tribal casinos.  Hopefully, this indicates the beginning of a shift that will hopefully lead to the eventual launch of online gambling. Till then, the state’s residents will have to make do with placing sports bets at the available retail facilities.

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