The Washington-based Snoqualmie tribal casino is the first operator in the state to launch a sportsbook as the NFL season kicks off.
The move to allow sports betting at tribal casinos was passed through the state’s legislature with a bipartisan supermajority last year.
Governor Jay Inslee signed the bill into law in March 2020, making sports gambling a reality in Washington State.
As of now, eight other tribes have received approval from the Interior Department and will begin to offer sports betting in the upcoming weeks and months.
Seven other Washington State tribes are also awaiting approval for their revised tribal compacts.
Rebecca George, Executive Director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association (WIGA), issued the following statement in response to the launch: “Today’s commencement of sports betting at the Snoqualmie tribe’s casino marks an important milestone in the progress that Washington State’s tribes have made in regaining their self-reliance.
“Our tribes are justifiably proud of our track record of allowing carefully regulated gaming at our casinos. Our commitment is that we will conduct our sports betting operations with the same care and focus on fairness.”
Tribal governments in Washington rely on gaming revenue for essential government services, allowing for self-sufficiency.
Unlike commercial gaming, tribal government gaming pays for critical housing, healthcare, education, natural resources and jobs.
“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, and the positive benefits will extend well beyond tribal communities themselves,” continued George.
“Tribal gaming revenues not only fund critical services for long-underserved tribal communities, those revenues also bolster the overall economies of communities across Washington State.”