Sports betting bill clears Washington Senate Committee

The state of Washington is one step closer to legal sports betting.

The Washington Senate Committee on Ways and Means has passed a bill that would legalise land-based and online sports wagering in the state.

The proposed legislation, HB 2638, was voted through the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Monday 2 March and will now progress forward to the Rules Committee for a second hearing.

This news comes a week after the bill cleared the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. The legislation was also approved by the House with a vote of 83-14 in favour of it.

The bill, HB 2638, and its companion bill SB 6394 were both introduced in January and would permit land-based sports betting at tribal casinos and cardrooms in the state, as well as online betting while on tribal casino grounds.

What’s covered in the bill?

If the proposed legislation is successful Washington’s gambling tribes will be able to offer sports betting at their casinos and cardrooms as well as mobile betting, but this would only be available on tribal land.

Under the bill, Bettors in the state will be able to place sports wagers on any professional sporting or athletic events, including college sports, the Olympics and other international sporting contests.

In its current form, the bill does include language relating to tax rates and licensing fees but does not outline any specific price points or tax rates. The bill would also charge the Washington State Gambling Commission with the responsibility of regulating the state’s betting market.

Gambling in Washington

Washington is currently homed to 21 tribes that operate 29 casinos, 21 card room operators which operate 44 card rooms and two racetracks, creating plenty of opportunities for sports betting in the state.

The state of Washington currently permits casino gambling, poker, horse racing betting, lottery games and charitable gambling activities.

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