A proposed sports betting bill in Washington has cleared the House
The Washington House of Representative has voted in favour of a bill that would legalize land-based and online sports betting in the state.
The legislation, HB 2638, received a vote of 83-14 allowing it to clear the House and move onto the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee where it will receive further debate.
What’s covered in the legislation?
The proposed legislation, and its companion bill in the Senate, SB 6394, revolve around the authorization of sports betting on tribal land. These bills would allow Washington’s gambling tribes 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 legislation, players in Washington will be able to bet on any professional sporting or athletic event, including collegiate sporting events, international events and the Olympics. The bill includes language related to taxation and licensing fees but does not include a set tax rate or licence fee.
The legislation would also charge the Washington State Gambling Commission with the responsibility of regulating sports betting and awarding licenses to operators.
More legislation being considered
While the two bills that relate to sports betting for tribal groups are making progress, several other bills are also being considered. SB 6277, which is named the Sports Wagering Act, would allow sports betting to be offered at authorized tribal casinos, racetracks, card rooms and online.
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 Washington.
The Sports Wagering Act, which is sponsored by Republican Senators Ann Rivers and Curtis King, sets a tax rate of 10% on sports betting revenue. Tax revenue generated from bets placed on tribal land will be allocated to the tribe that operates in that specific area.
Although SB 6277 is much more detailed, this legislation has been with the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee since January and has made very little progress in the legislature.