Legal sports betting in the Inland Northwest
SPOKANE, Wash. — An estimated $150 billion trades hands on sports bets every year in America. Illegally.
However- the days of small town bookies could be numbered following the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to dispose of 1992’s Professional and Amateur Protection Act. Now- thanks to New Jersey leading the charge, states are taking a look inward to determine the logistics and potential benefits of Green lighting and regulating sports betting.
While casual gamblers are generally happy with the ruling, state lawmakers and casino owners have a lot of work ahead. One local owner told me he didn’t think a sports book made sense with his business – but he wouldn’t completely rule it out if the demand was high enough.
Tribal casinos also seem to be searching for information. A representative with the Washington State Gambling Commission told KXLY casinos honor what is called “tribal-state gaming compacts,” which means every game offered on tribal land has to be approved by the state. Obviously – there is no language in the current compact that addresses sports gambling.
So how close is Washington to moving forward? The gambling commission claims it would need a two thirds super majority in the legislature or a referendum. Either way, the state is at least a year away from moving toward legal sports betting.
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