A bill to allow sports gambling in Washington state, but only at tribal casinos, was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday.
Inslee said the bill would allow the state and Indian tribes to enter into new gaming compacts to cover sports betting.
“”This will allow people to participate in a new gaming activity that is safe and well-regulated by the tribes,″ Inslee said as he signed the bill, which was easily passed by both houses of the Legislature.
Washington Indian Gaming Association Executive Director Rebecca Kaldor thanked Inslee for supporting the bill.
“”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 said. “”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.”
The measure included an emergency clause, and takes effect immediately. The Legislature earlier rejected calls to scrap the emergency clause, which potentially could have subjected the bill to a statewide referendum requiring 60% support to pass.
Supporters of the bill said betting on sports was widespread in Washington already, and legalizing it would protect consumers. Supporters also said tribal casinos were the logical place to expand.
The bill passed despite objections that it granted a monopoly to the state’s Indian tribes while hurting smaller commercial card-room casinos.
Those opposed to the bill included Nevada-based Maverick Gaming, which in the past year acquired 19 of the

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