Nine Washington Tribes Get Final Approval to Begin Sports Betting Activities

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The U.S. Department of Interior announced on Wednesday that it has approved the sports betting compact amendment of nine tribal casinos in Washington, giving them the go-signal to start legal sports betting in Washington.

The amended compacts that were approved belonged to the Puyallup, Tulalip, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Cowlitz, Squaxin, Suquamish, Stillaguamish and Lummi tribes. Meanwhile, the applications of the Muckleshoot, Swinomish, Skokomish, Kalispel, Jamestown S’Klallam, Shoalwater Bay and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation are still pending.

Some of the approved tribes are in the process of finalizing vendor deal approvals and they may be ready to launch on September 9th when the 2021 NFL season begins.

Revenue Source for the Tribes

Last July, the Washington State Gambling Commission gave the final approval to the sports betting proposals outlined by the state’s tribes, hoping to get started when the NFL’s 2021 season begins.

The tribes view the upcoming NFL season as a big source of gambling revenue at a time when their communities are badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These Native American tribes need additional cash to fund health, education, and other social services.

According to a statement from the Washington Indian Gaming Association said that regulated sports betting at tribal casinos should begin “in the next few months”, depending on how far they individually are in implementing the needed measures and approval of vendors.

Washington’s Tough Anti-Gambling Laws

The approval of the nine tribes marks the apex of a years-long battle to get spots betting legal in Washington. The Evergreen State has one of the toughest anti-gambling laws in the country.

Mobile and online gambling are still a Class C felony in Washington. To satisfy the law, online and mobile sports betting will be geofenced to prevent access from outside the casino properties and their surrounding premises.

Washington’s sports betting law was passed in March 2020 but it took more than a year for tribal compact amendments to be negotiated with the state. Now it is one the verge of becoming a reality.

BetMGM Washington DC App Expected to Launch Soon

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Sports betting enthusiasts in the Nation’s capital are excited as the BetMGM sports betting app in Washington DC is one the verge of its launch.

BetMGM’s upcoming presence in Washington D.C. is the fruit of the partnership it signed with the Washington Nationals last January. Under the agreement, the BetMGM app will only be accessible within a two-block radius within the Nationals stadium. Still, it’s a welcome addition to the growing sports betting industry in Washington DC.

Geofenced Sports Betting Apps

GameBet DC, operated by Intralot, currently offers the District’s only online sports betting app because the DC Council greased through a contract for its Lottery provider.

However, sportsbooks partnered with sports arenas are allowed to offer mobile legal Washington sports betting though these apps are geofenced two radius within its partner arena as well as retail shops in the vicinity of their partner stadiums. This is where BetMGM entered the D.C. sports betting scene.

William Hill has a retail sportsbook at the Capital One Arena which is already operational. It also launched its mobile app late last month. Meanwhile, the FanDuel retail sportsbook has set its opening at Audi Field to later this year. FanDuel is also slated to launch its legal Washington sports betting app within the same time frame.

Long Partnership With the Washington Nationals

MGM has a long partnership with the Washington Nationals. The two companies started their marketing partnership in 2017 when the team unveiled the MGM National Harbor Dugout Club, which is a small section of luxury field-level seats. MGM Resorts International is also MLB’s official gaming partner.

This summer, BetMGM is expected to launch a retail sportsbook located in the space currently serving as Center Field Social, across Center Field Plaza from the Nationals team store. The sportsbook won’t be accessible to fans watching the Nationals game but they will be able to place sports bet using the BetMGM sports betting app

The BetMGM app includes exciting options like parlay bets and in-game betting. It also has a wide variety of sports to bet on. It is expected to engage Nationals fans with the game in new and exciting ways.