Washington regulator agrees sports betting deal with the Suquamish Tribe

Washington’s regulator has inked a new sports betting deal with one of the state’s tribes.

The Washington State Gambling Commission has agreed on a new deal with the Suquamish Tribe that covers sports betting.

The sports betting deal

Under the agreement, sports wagering will be added to the list of activities that can be offered under the Tribe’s Class III gaming compact with the state.

If the new compact does come into effect, the Suquamish Tribe will be allowed to offer sports betting at its Class III venue located on the Kitsap Peninsula on the Port Madison Indian Reservation.

As part of the amended compact, the Tribe’s Kitsap Peninsula facility will be required to use Geofence security to ensure that bets can only be placed on the premises.

The Tribe will not be permitted to accept bets on collegiate sporting events that involve one of Washington’s colleges. On top of this, the Tribe will not be permitted to encourage bettors to wager a specific amount.

Washington State Gambling Commission Chair Bud Sizemore said: “I am grateful for the thoughtful and cooperative approach taken by the Tribe and State in reaching this tentative agreement and this compact amendment continues to recognize the Tribe’s sovereignty and successful operation and regulation of gaming.

“This agreement ensures sports wagering will be conducted with the highest integrity while protecting the public by keeping gambling legal and honest. Completion of these negotiations allows us to focus more on the black market in our state.”

Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe, said: “We are pleased with the progress of the compact amendment and the partnership it represents with the Governor, Legislature, Gambling Commission and citizens of Washington.

“Revenue from sports wagering will help support the Suquamish Tribe’s important governmental services offered to both tribal members and the non-tribal community. This compact means guests at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort will enjoy additional exciting activities while ensuring that sports wagering revenues remain in Washington.”

Before the agreement can come into effect, it must first be reviewed at the Commissioner’s public meeting on 10 June. If the amendment is approved it will be passed to the state Governor and Tribal Chair to sign.

From there, the agreement will be passed to the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior for publication in the Federal Register. The amendment will only come into effect once it is published in the Register.

With the news of this deal, the Suquamish Tribe is the second Washington-based Tribe to enter such an agreement with the state regulator.

Another deal with a Washington Tribe

Last month, the Washington State Gambling Commission announced an agreement with the Tulalip Tribes of Washington for sports betting at the Tribes’ casinos in the state. 

Similar to the deal with the Suquamish Tribe, the Tulip Tribes will see their Class III gaming compact amended to include sports betting.

If the amendment comes into effect, the Tulalip Tribes will be permitted to offer sports betting at its two Class III gambling facilities on the Tulalip reservation in Marysville.

Sports betting in Washington

Last year, Washington State authorised sports wagering at tribal casinos in the state after Inslee signed HB 2638 into law.

Under HB 2638, residents and visitors can legally take part in in-person sports wagering, and on-premises mobile betting at land-based tribal casinos. 

Once sports betting goes live in the state, bettors will be able to place bets on any professional sport or athletic event including the Olympic Games and collegiate events. However, betting on minor league sports will be prohibited.

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