According to a Thursday report from The Spokesman-Review newspaper, the Washington State Gambling Commission has sent a recommendation to Governor Jay Inslee that he should approve amendments to the gaming compacts with 15 local tribes so as to allow these federally-recognized groups to offer legalized sportsbetting inside their casinos. The sanction purportedly followed a seven-to-nil vote with two abstentions and could permit the on-reservation venues to open legitimate sportsbooks within 45 days of the Democrat’s approval.
The newspaper reported that the move is just the latest in a long process to bring legalized sportsbetting to ‘The Evergreen State’ following the 2018 United States Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the previous federal prohibition contained within the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This decision purportedly prompted the Washington House of Representatives and Washington State Senate to approve legislation last year that would allow sports wagering within tribal casinos.
The Spokesman-Review reported that the prospect of being able to bring legal sportsbooks to their casinos could prove to be a boon for the economic prospects of tribes including the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, the Squaxin Island Tribe, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe and the Tulalip Tribes of Washington. This latter group purportedly told the regulator that aboriginal groups are collectively already the seventh-largest employer in the state and that sports wagering would allow them to create even more jobs.
The newspaper reported that the recommendation could moreover see the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Suquamish Tribe, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians of Washington be given the right to open sportsbooks by the end of the August. Before making its determination and the members of the Washington State Gambling Commission purportedly heard evidence regarding these groups’ successful 30-year record of offering safe and legal gaming.
The Spokesman-Review reported that the gaming compact alteration would furthermore allow the Jamestown S’Kallam Tribe, the Lummi Nation, the Shoalwater Bay Tribe, the Spokane Tribe of Indians and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to begin offering sportsbetting and utilize any resultant proceeds to fund their own health, education and social welfare programs. Jaison Elkins serves as Chairman for this latter tribe and he purportedly proclaimed that these groups have benefitted from gaming but that there is still much work to do in order to reverse centuries of mistreatment.
Elkins reportedly pronounced…
“The effects of poverty, neglect and disease are not easily overcome. We use every dollar from gaming.”