More Washington Tribes Receive Approval on Gaming Compacts

More Washington Tribes Receive Approval on Gaming Compacts
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New options are coming for sports betting in Washington.

Nearly a week after the Snoqualmie Tribe debuted its sports betting, the Colville, Shoalwater and Muckleshoot tribes had their updated gaming compacts approved. The tribes will be able to introduce retail sports betting at their locations, including Northern Quest Casino, Shoalwater Bay Casino, Coulee Dam Casino, Muckleshoot Indian Casino, Okanogan Casino and Mill Bay Casino.

Several other tribes remain in the process of finalizing vendors and awaiting approval on their compacts from the U.S. Department of the Interior. Other tribes had their updated compacts approved earlier this month. The Cowlitz, Lummi, Puyallup, Spokane, Squaxin, Stillaguamish, Suquamish and Tulalip tribes were authorized on Sept. 1.

In late July, the Washington State Gambling Commission granted final approval to sports betting proposals from tribes in hopes of allowing a targeted launch in time for the Sept. 9 NFL season opener between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys. But only Snoqualmie Casino was able to start taking bets in time, officially opening at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

“The launch of sports betting is going to provide a real boost for tribal communities that are still working to recover from the tough impacts of COVID shutdowns,” Rebecca George, executive director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association, said in a statement Thursday. “And the positive benefits will extend well beyond tribal communities themselves.”

Tribes can use the revenue from sports betting on governmental uses, such as health care, housing, natural resource enhancement and education.

Washington allows bettors to wager on college and professional events. But residents are not able to place bets on any in-state college teams.

Snoqualmie First to Launch

Former Seattle SuperSonics All-Star Shawn Kemp placed the first sports bet in Washington on Thursday. Kemp bet on the Seattle Seahawks to beat the Indianapolis Colts. The initial wager was graded a winner after the Seahawks recorded a 28-16 win.

“The timing was just right, the fervor for football season,” Snoqualmie Casino CEO Stanford Le told the Seattle Times about opening on Thursday. “This is making history. So having a natural time frame, the kickoff of the NFL season and the kickoff of our sportsbook and being the first in Washington all just made a lot of sense.”

Snoqualmie features six betting kiosks around the casino and four wagering windows. On-site mobile betting will be offered after the geofencing technology is installed and tested at the casino.

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