Sports Betting in Washington Legalized for Tribal Casinos

Tribal Casino in Washington StateThe road to getting sports betting legalized in Washington state started off slowly, with traction coming off of the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling to strike down the 1992 federal law that outlawed sports gaming in most states.

In recent months, it gained momentum, finally reaching its peak point last Wednesday. While it’s not during the most opportune timing with the current nationwide casino closures due to the coronavirus pandemic alongside the suspension of major league sports, it’s still great news for the Evergreen State.

On Wednesday, Washington officially became the 21st state to legalize sports betting when Governor Jay Inslee signed the bill into law. Currently, a total of 20 other states now have legal, regulated sports betting industries, with other states passing legislation and contemplating sports-gambling bills.

The legalization in Washington does come with its limits, however.

Unlike its neighboring state, Oregon, Washington will not allow internet or mobile betting options, outside of mobile betting while on the property of tribal casinos. They’ve also decided to limit sports betting on the premises of tribal casinos, only.

“This will give people an opportunity to participate in a new gaming activity that is safe and well-regulated by the tribes,” the Democratic governor advised.

Why Tribal Casinos?

So why limit sports betting to tribal casinos in the state?

Well, the state’s 29 federally-recognized tribes regularly testified in front of legislative committees about all the good they would be able to accomplish with gaming profits.

They also argued that since Washingtonians would prefer to limit the expansion of gambling, they should be crowned the sole partners to provide sports betting to the people.

The Washington state House of Representatives and the Senate approved the motion to limit sports betting to tribal casino premises in wide margins.

“The tribes, as we have seen, do an excellent job of funding problem gambling programs and that’s why I support keeping this within the tribal casino system,” Sen. Derek Stanford, D-Bothell, said in a committee executive session ahead of early February’s vote.

Betting Allowed on Wide Range of Sporting Events

A wide range of sporting events will be included in Washington state’s sports wagering authorization, including college sports, professional sports, Olympic and World Cup competitions, overseas leagues, and popular video game tournaments, known as eSports.

This seems like a promising variety, but it will be some time before we see how well sports betting does in the state amid the widespread shutdown of athletic events.

That could be an upside, however, since it’ll take some time for leagues to start up again alongside tribes needing to negotiate regulatory agreements with the state.

Washington Indian Gaming Association Executive Director Thanks Governor for Signing Bill

Rebecca Kaldor, Washington Indian Gaming Association Executive Director, gave Governor Inslee a big thank you for signing the law into existence, despite the unfortunate timing of sports being suspending and casinos being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

”The revenue generated by tribal gaming funds critical needs in our communities,” Kaldor said.

”Tribal communities and governments are currently dealing with the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,” she continued. ”As we recover from this crisis, the addition of this amenity will help tribal governments fund the essential services their members will need to get back up on their feet.”

Bill Limit Opponents

Despite objections that Indian Tribes would be granted a monopoly with the decision while hurting smaller commercial-card casinos, the bill still passed successfully.

Among the opponents were Nevada-based Maverick Gaming. Over last year, the company was able to secure 19 of the state’s 44 commercial card-room casinos. Maverick argued that they should be given some control over the lucrative sports gambling market.

According to Maverick Gaming Chief Executive Eric Persson’s stance in the public hearings regarding sports legalization, he believes Washington state could lose up to $50 million a year in tax revenues by not authorizing sports betting to expand past tribal casinos.

Updated List of States with Legal Sports Betting

For those keeping track at home, here is an updated list of the current states allowing legalized sports betting:

Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, Washington DC, and West Virginia.

Stay tuned to see what develops over the next few weeks in the legalized sports betting world, and to see how the casino shutdown turns out amid the outbreak.

Washington Legislature Introduces Bills to Allow Sports Betting

Sports BookIn Washington state, bills to allow sports betting at Indian casinos for major events, like the Super Bowl and the World Series, have just been introduced. It looks like sports betting is expanding in the United States, following the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed for it to be legalized in every state.

These bills would effectively allow owners of the 29 Indian casinos in the state to open Las Vegas-style sportsbooks. While it’s a big move for sports betting in Washington, a company that operates 19 private card rooms in Washington says the bills should allow mobile betting, too.

Eric Persson, the owner of Maverick Gaming, said their company should also be allowed to offer sports betting services. This includes betting via the use of cellphones, computers, and other smart devices.

“That’s what the consumer wants,’‘ Persson told the House Commerce and Gaming Committee on Monday afternoon.

The committee heard Persson’s testimony about the proposal, but did not take a vote. The next sports betting hearing is scheduled for Thursday before a Senate committee.

Legal Gambling Can Help End Illegal Gambling

Rebecca Kaldor, director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association, said the casinos provide jobs and government services in some of the poorest parts of the state. Kaldor mentioned that Indian casinos provide jobs for over 30,000 people. In turn, they pay over $1.5 billion a year in wages and benefits. They also pay $722 million in taxes and account for over $5.7 billion for the state’s economy alone.

But Persson said operators of card rooms and other non-Indian gambling businesses should share in the sports betting action. He said many people in Washington are already betting on sports via off-shore bookies.

When asked how to reduce illegal gambling, Persson said people will naturally pursue legal options if given the choice.

Persson even pushed for Washington to start providing mobile betting options to bet on sports, insisting that the accessibility and legality would help end prohibited gambling on sports.

A few representatives from Native American casinos spoke out against adding cardrooms to sports betting venues. They believe those are private, unrelated businesses that don’t necessarily offer any benefits to Washington residents.

The Slow and Steady Approach

The Washington state House bill seeks to “figure out a slow and steady way to kind of enter into this new arena of gambling,” said House Commerce and Gaming Committee Chairman Strom Peterson, a Democrat from Edmonds and the sponsor of the measure.

The aforementioned bill would permit Native American-based casinos to revise their gambling agreements with Washington legislators and allow betting on sports in the future. However, the bill does block betting on sporting events that involve universities or colleges within the state. This is a legal component that other states have implemented as well, in an effort to prevent any potential corruption.

Native American leaders, along with casinos, have testified in support of the prohibition of betting on collegiate sporting events.

David Bean, chairman of the Puyallup Tribe, said gaming revenues have provided tribes with the means to provide many services to their members, and many jobs to both Indians and non-Indians.

“Indian casinos are a natural place for sports betting”, Bean said. “You know us. You trust us,” Bean said. “This is our home.”

Charlene Tillequots, a Yakama Nation Tribal Council member, said tribes have years of experience operating casinos. But Tillequots also said that sports betting is an activity that will require proper management.

Kevin Stitt Wants Casino Gambling in Oklahoma to be Made Illegal

For more than a year, lawmakers in Oklahoma and the state’s Native American tribes have been clashing. The state is calling these tribes to pay more money in taxes. The tribes believe this breaches the contract they made with lawmakers decades ago. This week, Governor Kevin Stitt officially called for casino gambling in Oklahoma to become legal.Governor Kevin Stitt

It’s disappointing news for the tribes operating in this state. It’s also a huge blow for gambling fans here that enjoy making bets inside land-based casinos. Today, we’re going to talk about exactly why Mr. Stitt is taking this stance.

Let’s get into it!

Tribes and Oklahoma Lawmakers Continue to Argue

The issue between Oklahoma’s tribal groups and the state lawmakers has been brewing for months. It began to really heat up back in July when Governor Stitt announced he was considering banning casino gambling in the state. Stitt believes that it’s time for these tribal groups to pay more money.

It all stems from the contracts made with these tribes back in the early 2000s. At that time, an agreement was made for these tribes to operate land-based casinos for 15 years. Both parties agreed to a tax structure and until recently, things were running smoothly.

That is no longer the case. Kevin Stitt believes that once these 15-year contracts expire, it’s time to negotiate the tax structure. The tribes disagree. They are arguing that these contracts automatically renew once they’ve expired.

At first, these two groups seemed uninterested in negotiating with one another. Finally, talks began to take place in October. Unfortunately, it appears these negotiations fell through.

Kevin Stitt is now asking for casino gambling in Oklahoma to be made officially illegal. Will this actually happen in 2020?

Casino Gambling in Oklahoma May be Banned

Oklahoma has one of the largest casino industries in the country. There are a huge number of gambling venues here, most of which offer all types of Class III games such as slots, table games, and poker. Due to the disagreement over tax payments, Kevin Stitt is now officially asking a federal court to prevent tribes from offering any casino gambling in Oklahoma.

Stitt is insisting that these tribes are currently offering casino gambling options illegally. He is arguing in court that these tribes do not currently possess a license to run casinos. Until a new tax structure is agreed to, he states, these tribes will not hold a gambling license.

“Continuing to conduct class III electronic gaming in the absence of valid Gaming Compacts with Oklahoma has resulted, is resulting, and will continue to result, in unjust enrichment to the Tribes,” Stitt claims in a statement to the court. “Unjust enrichment will continue unless and until a new gaming compact is entered into by and between the Tribes and Oklahoma.”

Essentially, Stitt wants confirmation that the state’s contracts do not automatically expire. If this happens, he can officially shut down casino gambling in Oklahoma. The tribes would then be forced to negotiate with lawmakers on a new tax structure.

The tribes have taken to the courts, as well. We’ll need to wait and see how this situation plays out over the next few months. For now, Oklahoma’s land-based casinos continue to operate.

Online Casino Gambling in Oklahoma is Growing More Popular

There are some major fears that Oklahoma’s brick and mortar casino industry will be temporarily shut down soon. If the tribes continue to fight against any tax changes, the fight with state lawmakers could drag on for years. As a result, internet casino gambling here is growing more popular than ever before.

It’s not entirely surprising. Right now, there are a huge number of fantastic Oklahoma casino sites that are available. Most of them provide thousands of different gambling options every single day.

Some of these sites are known for offering mostly slot-style games. Others provide a wide range of online casino gambling options.

One site that’s grown extremely popular over the years is Bovada. Both casino gamblers and sports bettors love this site thanks to its modern design and wide range of gambling options. Feel free to check it out today!

Governor Stitt wants casino gambling in Oklahoma to be banned. Whether or not the courts will agree to this request is still unknown. Stay tuned for updates over the next few weeks!

Michigan’s Islands Resort & Casino Approves $30 Million Renovation

Island-CasinoOn Thursday, the Hannahville Indian Community Tribal Council granted approval to pave the way for the Island Resort & Casino in Michigan to begin a sizable renovation. The property will spend $30 million to expand the resort property by adding 11 stories to the Palm Tower. The top floor of the property will feature a brand-new restaurant as well as an expansive meeting space.

The hotel will also get a 140-room expansion on top of the 300 rooms that already exist. Aa water park and a swimming pool will also be built adjacent to the hotel. The casino and hotel property has been in need of expansion for quite some time given how many people visit the resort on a yearly basis.

More Space in High Demand

Tony Mancilla, the general manager of Island Resort & Casino, told Marquette local TV stadion WLUC:

“We have a high demand. We sold out 95 percent of our rooms every day of the summer, and on the weekends, we have waiting lists anywhere up to 200 people, so we have a high demand for the rooms.”

The property attracts casino gamblers, convention attendees as well as golfers.

Quintus 3D, an architectural planning firm from Wisconsin, is set to provide designs and engineering proposals in the coming weeks. Quintus 3D has previously designed the property’s Drift Spa, retail space and hotel lobby. The company is known to work with several Indian tribes all over the United States.

Michigan-based Gundlach Champion will oversee construction at the property. Gundlach Champion is also familiar with the property after having built the Island hotel’s Sun Tower as well as the casino expansion back in 1998. The designing, engineering and construction of the expansion is expected to begin in the next few months. Construction is slated to get underway in June, and the new features are expected to open at some point in 2021.

The casino’s current gaming floor includes a casino occupying nearly 409,000 square feet of space with over 1,200 games. There are countless slot machines as well as a poker room, bingo, blackjack, craps and roulette. The property is also home to an entertainment venue featuring over 1,300 seats.

Sports Betting On the Way in Michigan?

The new expansion is not expected to account for the possibility of the legalization of sports betting. However, the FireKeepers Casino in nearby Battle Creek will soon feature sports betting. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, which runs the casino, has already partnered with Scientific Games Corporation in order to provide sportsbook services.

In December, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer officially signed the Lawful Sports Betting Act. The new legislation grants the Michigan Gaming Control Board the ability to hand out sports betting licenses to the state’s Indian tribal casinos. 3 commercial casinos located in the Detroit metro area will also be able to provide sports betting services.

At the time the bill was signed into law, Michigan became the 20th state in the US to pass a law legalizing sports betting. Those licenses will cost $100,000, and they can be renewed on a yearly basis for $50,000. Tribal sportsbooks will be taxed by the state at a rate of 8.4 percent, while the commercial casinos in Detroit will be taxed 11.75 percent. Detroit has a mandatory 3.25 percent add-on tax that applies to any and all forms of gambling.

The legalization of sports betting is expected to generate about $19 million in revenue for Michigan, according to estimates.

Will Tribal Gambling in Oklahoma Be Made Illegal in 2020?

For years, Oklahoma has boasted one of the largest Native American tribal casino markets in the world. A huge number of tribal casinos are operating here, yet they’re in danger of soon being banned. Many are now wondering whether or not tribal gambling in Oklahoma will be made illegal next year.

Governor Kevin Stitt

Oklahoma’s governor is making it clear that he’s against the gambling industry. Today, we’re going to look at exactly why casino gambling could be made illegal here. We’ll also talk about the chances of this happening in 2020.

Let’s get into it!

Oklahoma Lawmakers Continue to Fight With Tribes

As we just mentioned, Oklahoma has a long and rich history of gambling regulation. In the 1980s, lawmakers here began allowing horse race gambling and Class II casino gambling options. It was a major step forward, as in the past, state officials banned almost all forms of traditional gambling.

Unfortunately, these officials seemed unwilling to legalize real casino gambling. Class III games, which include table games and slot machines, were banned for years. In 2000, lawmakers here finally entered into negotiations with tribes over this subject.

In 2004, Class III gambling was officially legalized in Oklahoma. This breathed new life in the state’s gambling industry. Almost immediately after this legalization, a huge number of tribes began immediately pushing to open new gambling venues. Online casinos in Oklahoma remain unregulated but are hugely popular.

The state began benefiting from this industry right away. Hundreds of millions of dollars started flowing into the state. These casinos attracted many visitors from nearby states such as Texas.

Unfortunately, Governor Kevin Stitt may end up killing the state’s gambling industry. Tribal gambling in Oklahoma could actually become illegal soon.

Kevin Stitt is Fighting Against Tribal Gambling in Oklahoma

Native American tribes in Oklahoma have been fighting with certain state lawmakers for months. It all stems from a disagreement with the state’s gambling compacts. Initially, the state granted tribes here a 15-year contract to offer Class III gambling options.

Under this contract, the tribes agreed to pay the state a certain amount of their revenue via taxes. The 15-year contracts are now expired, and Kevin Stitt believes that it’s time to renegotiate the terms of the agreement. The tribes in this state disagree.

It’s become a serious issue. Tribal leaders are under the impression that the 15-year agreement auto-renews. They are continuing to operate in the same way they have for the past decade and a half.

Stitt wants to see the tribes start paying more money to the state. Until this happens, he argues, these tribes are operating illegally. It’s a complicated issue with no real end in sight.

Not long ago, it appeared that the tribes and lawmakers were ready to negotiate. Unfortunately, these negotiations seem to have fallen through. Now, many of these tribes here are taking legal action against Governor Stitt.

Tribes Officially Sue Kevin Stitt Over Casino Dispute

Kevin Stitt isn’t backing down. He maintains that the state deserves more money from its legal casino gambling options. To their credit, the tribes aren’t backing down, either.

This week, the three most powerful tribes in the state officially filed a lawsuit against Governor Stitt. The Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw tribes are all taking legal action against the governor for not renewing the gambling compacts. The tribes all claim that they’ve met all the requirements to obtain new gambling licenses.

Chuck Hoskin, the Cherokee Nation Chief, commented on why these lawsuits are now taking place.

“For some time, we have tried to establish meaningful intergovernmental engagement regarding our gaming compacts, but you have continued to reject our compacts’ plain terms,” he said. “Recently, you have gone further, stating allegations against us and threats to our operations.”

Stitt is telling the media that he’s still open to negotiations. Until this takes place, he maintains that Class III gambling is illegal here.

Tribal gambling in Oklahoma is still available, despite its legality sitting in a grey area. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on this situation over the next few months!

How Long Will Smoking in California Casinos Be Allowed?

California is home to a huge number of popular Native American tribal casinos. At the moment, these gambling venues are some of the only enclosed areas where smoking is permitted in the state. Many are now beginning to question how long smoking in California casinos will be allowed. California

It’s a complicated issue. On one hand, the ability to smoke is attractive to many gamblers. On the other, it’s damaging the health of casino workers.

Let’s look at what exactly is going on here.

California Continues to Implement New Smoking Laws

The state of California is known for having some of the strictest smoking laws in the country. It’s not entirely surprising. Smoking has been banned inside most establishments here for many years. As we’ve already mentioned, only casinos still allow patrons to smoke indoors.

It seems like every few months, a new smoking law is introduced in California. Many of these new laws have to do with vaping. Underage vaping is becoming a serious issue around the country. Never before have so many young people become addicted to nicotine.

Juul, the makers of the most popular electronic cigarette devices in the US, is at the center of major controversy. Not long ago, officials in San Francisco, where the company is based, banned all Juul products. Some feel a state-wide ban is on the horizon.

In October, lawmakers in California also decided to ban smoking and vaping at all state beaches. This ban applies to state parks, as well. Some were quick to push against this new law. Others felt it would help to crack down on underage smoking.

Smoking in California casinos is still permitted. Still, many are now calling for this to become banned. Based on new reports on the impact of smoking on Las Vegas casino workers, this may actually come to fruition.

Smoking in California Casinos May Soon Become Banned

There are a huge number of land-based casinos in California. This is all thanks to the US Supreme Court approving the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It’s a federal law allowing Native American tribes to operate gambling venues on sovereign land.

These casinos have escaped several regulations over the years. They are able to implement laws that are not permitted in other parts of the state. This is especially true with laws on smoking.

The times may be changing, though. Not long ago, a report detailed the health effects that second-hand smoking has on casino workers in Las Vegas. According to the report, many of these workers are now suffering from life-threatening ailments.

It’s a troubling finding that may lead to major change. In California, where smoking is becoming more and more taboo, casinos may be forced to ban it. Tribal leaders are likely to push against this for as long as possible. Smoking in California casinos helps to bring in a huge number of tourists.

Narinder Dhaliwal, director of California’s Clean Air Project, believes it’s time for this ban to be implemented. She also recognizes that it could potentially have an impact on their revenue.

“These are businesses, and even though smoking is a public health issue near and dear to our hearts, we also have to remember that they have to consider the economic impact on the tribe,” Dhaliwal said.

Las Vegas Remains the Smoking Hub Of the Country

In time, it’s likely that smoking will be banned inside these gambling venues. California is working hard to cut down on all rates of smoking. It will ultimately be up to gamblers and casinos to make this ban a reality.

In case this happens, smokers in California can still find refuge in Las Vegas. This city is home to many of the country’s best casino-resorts. In almost all of them, smoking is still permitted.

There are even a huge number of fantastic bars that allow smoking in Las Vegas. Some are small, quaint bars for cigar smokers. Others are large, grandiose cocktail bars that still allow customers to light up.

Bronson Frick, director of advocacy for Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, claims that many workers are calling for smoking in California to become banned.

“The casino workforce is the job sector most exposed to cigarette smoke in the U.S.,” he said.

Only time will tell when a ban like this will be implemented. We’ll also need to wait and see how this new rule would impact the casino’s revenue.

Stay tuned for more California casino news over the next few months!

There’s a New High-Limit Gaming Area at San Manuel Casino

California is home to a huge number of popular tribal casinos. One of the best is the San Manuel Casino, located in Highland. This week, a new high-limit gaming area opened up inside this popular gambling venue. Hundred Dollar Bills

This property has been working to expand its facilities. The opening of the new high-roller gaming area is extremely exciting for the high rollers here. Let’s take a quick look at what exactly this new area has to offer.

San Manuel Casino Continues to Attract Gamblers

As we just mentioned, California is home to a massive number of Native American-run casinos. They’re spread around the state and help to generate millions of dollars to California’s government. The San Manuel Casino is one of the most popular.

It’s located about 60 minutes outside of Los Angeles. The San Manuel Band of Serrano Indians runs the gambling venue, which is open to guests 24/7. Not long ago, it was voted the best buffet, steakhouse, and casino in the state.

There’s a lot to love about the San Manuel Casino. More than 4,300 slot machines are available here and just about every traditional table game. Since it’s opening in 1986, more than $2 billion has been paid out to players here.

Some detractors of this venue claim it doesn’t cater to high-rollers the same way that casinos in Las Vegas do. The owners heard this complaint and immediately began working to make a change. This week, a brand new high-limit gaming area opened up at San Manuel Casino.

Here’s what we know about this new area.

What Does the High-Limit Gaming Area Have to Offer?

The San Manuel Casino is currently under a massive $550 million expansion. Part of this expansion project was adding a new high-end area to the casino. This plan is now complete and visitors have reason to get excited.

Today, the owners of this casino announced the opening of a brand new high-limit gambling area. Both high-limit tables and high-limit slot machines are available here. A new restaurant, called the Hong Bao Kitchen, has also opened here.

Peter Arceo, General Manager of the San Manuel Casino, commented on the opening of this new high-end gambling area to the media this week.

“At San Manuel Casino, we always strive to give our guests new and exciting options, which led us to open the new high limit space and Hong Bao Kitchen,” he said. “Providing these unique and luxury entertainment options is just the latest way to offer our guests a best-in-class experience and sets us apart as one of Southern California’s top entertainment destinations.”

More than 200 high-limit slots are available here. Some have denominations up to $1,000. Some of the highest table games in California are now being offered here, too.

“Our newest gaming space brings our highest table limits yet – $25,000 – making San Manuel Casino one of the best high limit experiences in the country,” Arceo said. 

If you’re looking to make some major bets, San Manuel Casino might be the venue for you. Check it out if you’re in the Southern California area!

California Lawmakers Are Still Working to Legalize Sports Betting

Back in May of 2018, the Supreme Court struck down PASPA. This gives every state in the country the ability to legalize sports betting. More than 20 states have already legalized this industry and many more are currently working to do so.

Certain lawmakers in California have been working hard to officially legalize this industry. Unfortunately, they’re facing serious opposition by many of the Native American tribes in the state.

Some of these tribes believe that the legalization of sports betting will take away from their revenue. Lawmakers are working to come up with a plan to make all parties happy.

Most believe that sports betting will become legal in California in the next year or two. Once it does, California will likely become the largest sports gambling market in the country.

At the moment, gambling fans here are stuck with casino gambling. Stay tuned for more California casino news over the next few months!