Lawmakers in Washington are currently working to expand the state’s gambling industry. A push to legalize sports betting has been going on here for months. This week, WA’s sports betting bill officially passed through another legislative session.
Based on the way things are going, sports betting will be up and running here before the end of 2020. It’s an extremely exciting time for sports fans in the state. Today, we’ll look at the road to get sports gambling legalized here.
Let’s get into it!
The Casino Industry in Washington Continues to Grow
There was a time when Washington was an extremely anti-gambling state. For decades, almost no forms of gambling were allowed here. It was disappointing for the huge number of gambling fans that lived here.
Fortunately, things have improved dramatically. In the late 1980s, the Supreme Court passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. This immediately gave Native American tribes in every state the option to run gambling venues on sovereign land.
About a decade later, several tribal casinos opened up in Washington. These gaming venues proved to be extremely popular. They draw in many locals and visitors from nearby states, bringing in millions of dollars through taxes. More recently, lawmakers here began looking at the possibility of legalizing sports betting.
This is all thanks to the Supreme Court striking down PASPA in May of 2018. Now, every state can set its own laws on sports gambling.
WA’s sports betting bill has been working its way through the state’s legislative process. This week, another state government body here officially approved the bill.
WA’s Sports Betting Bill Advances Once Again
As of today, 21 states have officially legalized sports betting. Based on the way things are moving, Washington will be the next. House Bill 2638 was presented earlier this year. It’s already moved quickly through the state’s legislative process.
This week, the bill was approved by the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. It’s a huge moment for the state’s sports betting industry. WA’s sports betting bill was also recently approved by the House here by a margin of 82-14.
Lawmakers here are making the argument that online sports betting is already taking place in this state. Adding regulated sports betting options here will help earn the state valuable money. This argument seems to be working.
There are only a few more steps needed before this bill is officially approved. Eventually, Washington residents will need to vote to allow this form of gambling. Most analysts predict this will happen before the end of the year.
Unfortunately, Washington is only preparing to allow sports bets to be made in-person inside tribal casinos. This will make it hard for the state to compete with nearby states like Oregon, where online sports wagering is allowed. It remains to be seen how successful Washington’s new sports betting industry will become.
More States Push for Sports Betting Legalization
Washington seems poised to legalize sports betting this year. It’s unfortunate to see that lawmakers here aren’t interested in allowing online sports wagering. Nevertheless, this industry is likely to bring the state valuable revenue.
Several other states are likely to start regulating their sports betting industries over the next few years, as well. One state that seems poised to allow this form of gambling is California. This state is home to a huge number of tribal casinos. The legalization of sports betting would earn the state millions of dollars every single month via taxes.
There are several states that have legalized sports betting, yet have not yet launched any sports betting platforms. Gambling commissions across the country are still working to come up with specific regulations for this industry.
WA’s sports betting bill has passed through another important legislative session. It seems likely that legal, regulated sports betting options will become available here before the end of the year.
It’s an exciting time to be a sports fan in this state. Stay tuned for updates on the situation here over the next few months!