The Suquamish Tribe has been reported as one of the first Native American tribes in the state of Washington to apply for permission that would provide it with the chance to allow sports betting at its casino venue.
The fact that the tribe filed an application seeking permission to offer sports betting services was confirmed for a local media by spokespersons for both the state’s gambling regulatory body and Governor Jay Inslee’s office. According to the Kitsap Sun, apart from the Suquamish Tribe, there are three other applicants that have already filed formal requests to proceed with the application process.
Currently, each of the 29 tribes that are Washington state authorities recognize as such has a compact – a regulatory gaming agreement with the state – under which requirements for gambling licenses, fees, betting limits, operating hours, employees, etc. are set. For the time being, 22 of those tribes operate a total of 29 casino venues across the state.
Governor Inslee’s office confirmed that it had reached the Gambling Commission to consider and discuss some agreements that would allow four of the local Indian tribes, including the Suquamish, Kalispel, Snoqualmie and Tulalip, to offer sports betting in their casino premises. So far, a spokesperson of the Suquamish Tribe has refused to comment on the information.
The Sports Betting Compact Amendments Could Take Time
In case the members of the Washington Gambling Commission manage to reach an agreement with a tribe, public hearings in committees in both state houses will have to be held. Then, Commissioners would be required to vote on the possible amendments of the agreement and to decide whether to send it for final approval to the Governor of the state.
After in 2018 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the legalization of sports betting in the US, earlier in 2020 Washington lawmakers supported a bill that would make the new form of gambling legal in the state but only in tribal gambling facilities. Governor Inslee put his signature under the measure in March, but now the tribe’s compact agreements must address various issues regarding the sports betting services, such as licensing, fees, law enforcement, sports betting offering, sports integrity, etc.
Under the new framework in Washington state, betting is allowed on a range of sports competitions, including collegiate, professional, international and Olympic. Betting on esports events is also allowed. As for online sports betting, local residents are only allowed to place wagers on the Internet while being physically present at a land-based facility.
The Director of the Washington State Gambling Commission, David Trujillo, explained that the process of setting up sports betting offering and moving ahead with the Indian Tribes’ compacts would take some time, especially considering the fact that the amendments must be reviewed both at the local level, by Washington Legislature and the state’s gambling regulatory body, and at the federal level.